No apology from no-pay Beethoven festival

Chicago’s non-paying Beethoven Festival has posted the following website statement:

A new announcement will shortly be made about the status of Beethoven Festival: WALKABOUT 2014, in light of recent events. We appreciate your patience at this time.

For ‘recent events’, read exposure on Slipped Disc.

This is no way to get back into business, George Lepauw.

First say sorry to the musicians you have wronged. Then apologise to the community at large for your inexperience.

After that, maybe they’ll trust you again.

Maybe.

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  • Er, to be fair, much of George LP’s correspondence published here has been both apologetic in tone, and in which he has also apologised. So ‘step one’ as you request is done or underway. I have some sympathy with anyone who is willing to endure this sort of situation whilst attempting to raise funds to pay musicians what they are owed. It would be far easier for him to simply fold the festival into bankruptcy, and everybody gets a lawyer’s letter telling them they’ll never see a cent because there isn’t anything in the kitty. A brief firestorm later, that would be that.
    Naive and inexperienced George may well be, and he might also be a poor financial administrator (his musical credentials in either direction are fairly irrelevant here); but as far as any observer can see from his communications (unless there is more than anyone is revealing here), he seems as willing as anyone to try to make things work and make things right.

    • Then why did Lepauw engage a completely different roster of musicians for the next festival, instead of attempting to re-engage some or all of the musicians who performed in 2013? Given that the financial issues were not public knowledge, one is led to believe that he is fixing players in the full knowledge that he may not be able to pay them in full, and that they do not realise this. At best, his actions are cowardly; at worst, deceptive and exploitative. Maybe, if he stepped aside, the Beethoven Festival may be able to elicit more confidence, and fundraise more effectively.

    • There is no way or need to respond to someone who calls him- or herself “Anon” and who, for all anyone knows, could be someone directly involved with the “festival.” The one great thing about the three letters from the “festival” director — only one of which, the one sent by him to Slipped Disc, was ever intended for public circulation and the last of which — to the unpaid musicians, leaked to Slipped Disc, along with the first musicians’ letter (long after being sent and not acted upon) — had to be pulled out of him *after* he violated his written pledge not to try another festival until he had made past “free” performers whole and *after* he had announced a new “festival” with, indeed, new musicians *who were not told about the outstanding debts* — the one great thing about these missives is that anyone can read them for him or her self and see just what they say and what they do not say. They do not apologize. They do not recognize wrongdoing. They do not open up the finances. We’ll all see what the next, promised one says. Sheesh.

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