Sponsors change scope of festivals

Re: Precedent leaves other groups at risk (Letters, May 4)

When a non-profit society accepts corporate sponsors for a festival, that festival is a for-profit festival. My society established this in a court case 13 years ago.

The producer of any festival should never be the emcee for that festival. The producer should be walking the periphery, observing the impacts. This is the one part of a festival that can never have 100 per cent pre-analysis.

From the content of the previous letter, it is obvious that the producer of the St. Ann Festival failed to observe and mitigate impacts.

One month ago, Victoria city council voted to chop down a tree and remove grass so that events could be conducted more efficiently at the bandshell where the Heritage DanceFest is held. The letter-writer and her society were nowhere visible to speak in opposition to this de-greening of the park. Impacts are never obvious.

Ironically, it was the letter-writer’s other society that was able to hold a lantern festival at the bandstand because the benches could be easily moved and the large green space used to stage the event. No more.

If the producer of DanceFest wants to retain control, she should accept as few corporate sponsors as possible. If another entity attempts to usurp control of her festival, several letters to the corporate sponsors of the usurpers will soon chill their enthusiasm.

As for the city taking control, keep injecting a little humour into your letters. Large entities have many feet and thus infinite opportunity to step on their own toes.

Roy Fletcher


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