Comments

1
Glad to hear the news. Summer wouldn't be the same without Bumbershoot.
2
As for One Reel's debt—and the people who are currently unpaid, including people who worked at this year's festival—Smith said, "I am not at liberty to disclose that... but it is important to meet with all the people who've been working with this festival and make sure they're taken care of."


Riiiiight.

You guys should not accept a single ad from the new improved Bumbershoot until all the people who suffered wage theft actually get paid.

Promises don't pay the rent.
3
@2:

And how exactly do you propose One Reel pays those people to whom they owe back wages if they aren't in a position to generate the revenue needed to do so?

Marketing/advertising is one of the most important means entertainment-related companies use to get people to come to events for which they pay money, which in turn generates revenue the company then uses to pay employees and contractors. Restricting where they can advertise just makes it that much more difficult for them to do so. Yes, they apparently owe people back wages, which they fully admit, and one would expect them to rectify that as quickly as possible. But making it harder for them to earn income that can be used for this purpose doesn't strike me as a particularly effective method for remedying this situation.

Or would you rather see One Reel go out of business altogether? Because that would certainly be of tremendous help to those people about whom you're concern trolling.
4
@3 there you go using logic again ...
5
Maybe One Reel should go out of business altogether. They certainly can't get their shit together. They couldn't keep the Summer Nights concerts series going, and let's not forget the multi-year fuckups in obtaining sponsorship for the July 4th show. Every sign points towards incompetence.

Bumbershoot existed before One Reel, and it could continue without them. It might even be better, as we saw when Seafair took over the July 4th festivities.
6
So this means Taylor Swift/Beyonce/U2 headliners and $120 daily passes, right?
7
@5:

While technically true, one has to bear in mind that One Reel (which, in its earlier incarnation, The One Reel Vaudeville Show, had been a participant since 1972, the festival's second year of production) was brought in to produce starting in 1980 specifically because the event was floundering and near bankruptcy. So, the fact they've managed to keep it afloat for over 30 years isn't a track record to be so easily discounted.

As for the loss of the 4th of July event, that had as much to do with corporate sponsorships being curtailed for a lot of public programming during the last Recession, particularly when it became increasingly difficult to support TWO independent and competing July 4th celebrations.

As for your larger question, I guess one would have ask in response: if NOT One Reel, then who? I don't know of any other local producing organization with the requisite experience, background, or financial wherewithal to pull off an event of this size and scope. At best, you'd probably be looking at some sort of consortium, say, a partnership between Seattle Theatre Group, Seattle Center, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, et al, but coordinating something this large between several groups just seems unwieldy and not terribly productive, which is why consolidating it under a single umbrella (pun intended) organization makes more sense. But honestly, I can't think of any other single producer around here capable of doing it.
8
I wonder if this means that AEG will take over ticketing. If so, I suspect that they might find a 'convenient' way to recoup their investment through fees.
9
Or would you rather see One Reel go out of business altogether?


Yes. They absolutely should go out of business.

You don't get to steal from workers just because you produce a popular product.

What difference does it make if they go out of business and don't pay people when they already don't pay people. So you want people to work for free and just cross their fingers and pray they get paid?

And here we are always talking about minimum wages, wage theft, and fair wages. All the time. Talk about fucked up logic. Not to mention rank hypocrisy.

They are not paying people. But top management is getting paid. And the Stranger is getting paid for ads. That's bullshit.

According to you it's okay for corporations to rip people off if they produce something you like. That's also bullshit.
10
And how exactly do you propose One Reel pays those people to whom they owe back wages...?


Do they have assets? Sell them. Cut the salaries of the full time staff until back wages are paid. (They never should've hired those employee they couldn't pay in the first place).

Same way I and every other business who doesn't want to steal from workers has to meet payroll when shit goes bad.

They were in a position to pay the top management, weren't they? Jon Stone got paid. Most of the big acts got paid. There is no excuse. None.

Somehow they hired a new director. Somehow they maintain offices. Somehow they planned for an entire NEW season.

Before you do ANY of that you pay you workers what you owe them for work they have already done. Other wise you're a fucking thief not a business.
11
Because, if they stay in business there's a much better chance those people owed money will get paid; if they go out of business, the chance of that happening goes down to about zero. So, which would you prefer? They stay in business and make good on what they owe or go out of business and leave those people completely in the lurch?

Better yet, why don't you ask the people to whom they owe money which choice THEY would prefer? Because their take on the situation would seem to be much more relevant than either yours or mine.
12
Oh, and if One Reel goes under, who do you think is going to pick up Bumbershoot? It's not like there are a lot of other producers standing in line salivating over the prospect of running it that I can see.
13
Better yet, why don't you ask the people to whom they owe money which choice THEY would prefer?


HAHAHA... how do you think I know about this? I have two freelancers that didn't get paid by One Reel.
14
If tkc is as smart and connected as he thinks he is, his bitterness is clouding his reality. Three letters, AEG.

One Reel partnered with the biggest concert promoter in the world. The festival doesn't continue without the bills getting paid and AEG, didn't show up without a check book.

Yeah, they handled that in the shittiest way possible. They turned off the phones and went on vacation. Then, clearly, laid off their PR people and let this Stone guy talk to the press, with a huge chip on his shoulder.

I know lots of people who are dealing with One Reel. And, if they are not half whits, they are breathing a sigh of relief at the involvement of Heather Smith and AEG.

But, by all means, tkc, hold your grudge. If there is money to be made, at Bumbershoot 2015, you'll be back

And for those claiming they, somehow, fucked up Summer Nights at the Pier, how long did you think it was going to last without a pier? That was the best venue in town and when that pier was condemned, it marked the true end of that concert series.

4Th of July? First, who gives a shit, and second, you try finding sponsorship money during a worlf financial collapse.

15
@13:

So, it is your contention, having intimate knowledge of the minds of a couple of people affected, that their preference is to shut down the entire organization, put hundreds of people out of work, in order to satisfy - what exactly? How does that get your "friends" their back wages? How does adding scores of people to the unemployment rolls help their situation? How does discontinuing one of the largest cultural events in the nation serve to enhance the economic well-being of the literally hundreds of people who earn income from it - deferred, delayed or otherwise?

That's the problem with your brand of moral absolutism: eventually you reach a point where the solutions you propose become more ridiculously injurious than the problem they're intended to solve, with the inevitable result being a "we must destroy the village in order to save it", or in your case, "we must put One Reel out of business in order to protect its employees" mentality that is its logical conclusion.

Not a very big picture way of looking at things, is it?
16
@14 As far as I know AEG has not paid the wages owed. The last offer I heard before this was SOME people got offered to be paid a third to half what they're owed. I think those were people connected to unions.

I fail to see why wanting to hold companies accountable to their obligations and not condoning wage theft is "bitterness." Just because One Reel is associated with a once beloved event does not give them a buy.

And a you don't get to use a false dichotomy fallacy. If One Reel can maintain an ad budget, office, assets, and executive staff-- they could've paid their employees. What they did was deliberately rip people off and then cry poverty.

Well. According to you guys they're no longer poor. So why hasn't everybody been paid exactly what they were owed? Why are they trying to (reportedly) negotiated down the wage debt? What are they being so cagey in this article?

Because chances are like every other corporation if they CAN get away with wage theft and not paying, they will.
17
@15 no. It was your contention that somehow they'd go under if they were held accountable to paying.

It was your false dichotomy. I answered that given one of those false choices-- then yes if One Reel refuses to pay their workers they should go under. If say the Stranger held to purported principles and told them pay you back wages before your ad budget... There is no evidence that would put them out of business. AEG has all the capital they need to pay people. But they won't unless they're feet are held to the fire by somebody.

Fuck man. They are already not paying. If they go under they don't pay. If they don't go under they've STILL offered zero guarantee they will pay all of what they owe. I mean what kind of solipsism are you attempting argue here?

It's YOUR contention that a company that produces an event you like should be allowed to not pay people. That's fucked in the head.

They have the money. They need to pay.
18
@14, you know that One Reel and Bumbershoot have had AEG involved in years past, right ? It's not like this is totally new, they just haven't renewed their partnership for a few years.
19
@17:

Which in turn was based on your insistence that The Strange should forego accepting advertising money from One Reel until the back wages were paid, which would in turn reduce their marketing outreach (not to mention reducing this publication's ad revenue, thus hurting BOTH), which actually WOULD have some negative impact on their ability to generate income to pay the people who are owed back wages. That's how businesses, even non-profits, work; assuming you can affect revenue without it having any effect on any other part of the company shows a decided lack of understanding of how businesses operate.

If One Reel is already having the sort of financial problems that would prompt them to short employees or contractors in the first place, how much MORE do you think they could afford to lose before tipping them completely into bankruptcy or ceasing operations altogether? Again, your "solution" such as it is doesn't actually address the problem of how to keep the company solvent to the point of making sure everyone is paid what they're owed. I simply do not agree that throwing the baby out with the bathwater is a particularly helpful idea if that's the goal.

Please wait...

and remember to be decent to everyone
all of the time.

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