Jazz is not dead – it just smells funny

Smell

The musical genius Frank Zappa was years ahead of his time when he made that statement.

Something smells very funny about the upcoming Aurora Jazz Festival.

The reason that the Farmers Market Vendors are being forced to move is because unlike last year Town park will be fenced and closed for this years Jazz festival.

A ticket price of $5 has now been announced, therefore restricting ALL access to the park to paying customers of the Jazz Festival only.

Clearly there was never any intention in "working with" the Farmer's market vendors from the start, because there was no option but to have them relocated.

If that wasn't reason enough to sour one to this event, here are some other issues I have:

First off, if the highly established and embraced Beeches Jazz Festival that happens on public parks, is free and has world renown acts, why would anyone in their right think that they could charge admission to a small and unknown Aurora Jazz Festival headlined by an unknown Wedding Singer?

Secondly, why would anyone, especially the town as a sponsor, think it is okay to revoke existing permits and re-locate vendors for one event to allow vendors for another?

If the town's response is 'whoops sorry, this event permit was filed first" then the question should be how could this conflict not have been anticipated at the time that the permit was granted?

Thirdly, as someone who attends the Farmers Market, and as a parent with kids using the splash pad and play structure every weekend how does one gain access to the bathrooms located on the park?

I'm hearing that the park toilets will be for paying ticket holders of the event, and portable toilets will be provided for us "peasants" that are inconveniencing the all mighty Jazz Festival.

The attitude from the organizers has been extremely rude and confrontational.

When you start adding up the dollars now involved the motivation behind the event appears less community oriented and much more profit motivated than I feel comfortable for the town to be endorsing.

Lets break it down:

A wine and cheese event at the Aurora Cultural Center (another ticket based event):
$30 x 150 = $4500

Projected Ticket Sales:
$5 x 3000 = $15000

Sponsorship from the Town = $2000 in waived fees, promotion and who knows what else

Add in vendor fees and paying sponsors and we're looking at a take that is well over $30,000, which is a significant increase from the previous years event.

So can anyone tell me how exactly the Town benefits from this?

The Farmers Market will not see any benefit given that there will be vendors at this event, so any "spill-over business" argument doesn't hold any water.

Perhaps we are supposed to be in awe of this mediocre festival as a component of some over hyped and yet delivered cultural renaissance that will of course place Aurora on the map, resulting in a thriving tourism industry…..

Whatever.

What I want to know is if the town is participating in profit sharing with this venture.

If so perhaps they would be open to the idea of offsetting the inconvenience of the Farmers Market Vendors by returning to them a percentage of their permit fees.  Say in the area of 100%.

Benjamin Franklin pointed out that "fish and visitors smell in three days." and here the Jazz festival hasn't even started and it wreaks of corruption.

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4 thoughts on “Jazz is not dead – it just smells funny

  1. Spot on across the board.
    Sadly, I fear that the AJF will be promoted as another “great” Aurora event thanks to our wonderful mayor and detractors will be labelled as wet blankets who just hate Aurora.
    Where are our so-called mayoralty candidates?
    Don’t Kean or Dawe have anything to say?

  2. What an excellent piece. I wish you would submit it to the Auroran and/or Banner. So few people in town really know what is going on and, as an election approaches, I think the questions should be raised in as public a forum as possible.
    Thank you.

  3. Are they paying rent at the Cultural Centre for the pre-festival party, or has that been waived as well?

  4. I know nothing of the particulars surrounding fees being waived, money changing hands. Until everything is made more “open and transparent” all I can do is speculate.

    Regardless of rent being paid, I fail to see why the Cultural Center is a suitable venue for something like this, especially with such a high ticket price. Wasn’t this supposed to be a museum?

    Of the 3 candidates only Mr. Kean has commented on my blog, he has also done so over on the Aurora Citizen. He is very active in the paper so I imagine he will have something to say on the issue, as most likely will Mr. Dawe.

    As for Mr. Clowater, who wasn’t mentioned I suspect to hear nothing from him on anything, in any format all the way up until election day.

    As for a “public forum” I write for my own consumption, and although in the past I have submitted articles to the Auroran and the Banner so they could be read by specific audiences I have had mixed experiences.

    Without going into too much detail, the Mayora Banner purposely delayed a submission by 3 weeks and edited it changing the message completely. After that experience I want nothing to do with that paper and the ass-hats that run/operate it.

    As for the Auroran, there are enough letters that make that paper that I don’t see the need to re-iterate what I already write here. Lets not forget that the Auroran will be closed for a 2 week period, so one wonders what point there would be with that.

    Having something written in the paper doesn’t validate anything, nor does it encourage any discourse.
    News that gets printed is old news, the media of print itself is its own worst enemy this way.

    I for one do not believe that the combined audience for both papers is very large and I don’t have the time or patience to edit what I write so that it fits into this format, if 90% of the circulation ends up in the blue bin.

    This new media allows for threads and instant discussions, and unlike print it is very much alive.

    If an 80 year old councilor can embrace it, there is no reason that the rest of us shouldn’t.

    There is more than enough connectivity from my blog for someone to read it by bookmarking the site or via an RSS feed, through the social media of their choosing.

    If you like what you see by all means pass it along, sign up and have the posts come to you and continue to comment.

    Unlike the Jazz Festival there is no cover charge.

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