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UPDATE: Discontent in the ranks of Infringement

UPDATE: I'm told via Twitter that the mini-drama that erupted yesterday amid organizers of the Buffalo Infringement Festival has blown over. This from the official @InfringeBuffalo Twitter account: "We hit our fund raising goal, so that one guy (and anyone else) who complained about us asking for money, can shush now :)" Whew.

Just now, Infringement Festival oragnizer Janna Willoughby-Lohr made this posting on the public Facebook page of the Buffalo Infringement Festival:

In response to complaints about fundraising requests for Buffalo Infringement:

To ALL Buffalo Infringement Festival artists and performers:

If you are not willing to donate your time and effort to make this festival possible and you're not willing to donate your money to make this festival possible then you are NOT a part of making this festival happen and you should own up to it and not participate.

This is a DIY festival and it does not just spontaneously HAPPEN each year. Our core volunteers work our [expletive] off (for free) ALL YEAR LONG--contacting artists, contacting venues, conducting PR, setting up fundraisers, scheduling artists, dealing with conflicts, finding donated equipment to help artists make their projects happen, finding free housing for out-of-town artists, sending emails, calling people constantly, working to overcome problems and raising the THOUSANDS of dollars that are required to make this festival happen. The least you can do is donate some dollars of your own, spread the word around to help raise more and/or to get off your [expletive] and get to a meeting and volunteer to help physically to make this festival happen.

I don't know about you, but I am PROUD to volunteer my time, effort and money every year to MAKE something happen... and I know that if I don't do this--then things won't happen. If you are offended by this, go read this [expletive] story:

The organizers and volunteers are the "Little Red Hens of Buffalo Infringement". Who will help us sow these seeds?? You better not try and eat the bread if you don't help out.

"Make [expletive] happen instead of sittin' home wishin', in your kitchen... with your bitchin'!!" ~ BTV~

Eek. The annual Infringement Festival is to my mind one of the most important cultural events to arise in this city in the first decade of this century. But its laudable mission -- to be free of corporate influence, to welcome all comers and to be democratically administered and organized -- is also a source of inevitable frustration and conflict. Here's hoping things settle down before the fest's July 26 kickoff.

--Colin Dabkowski


Infringement Festival
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