More info needed on local festivals


As reported in The New Era (Sept. 12), the Jamboree is looking to expand the festival to an additional weekend with a completely different musical experience. It appears to me that some questions should be asked and answered before SHEDG, the school district, and the community agree to this plan.

First: While a 2001 economic impact study reported the Jamboree brings in $1.2 million to the local economy, what has happened since then? It is all well and good to say “you can figure that has gone up since then” (Albany D-H 9/13/12) but there seems to be very little information given to the community to verify just how much money is taken in, what are the costs, and whether or not the event stays within its budget.

Second: The vendors have received an email (9/20/12) explaining the possibility of a new plan….exclusive rights to sell a food item or two. Each exclusive item would cost the vendor $2,500 up front in addition to the $750 rental for the space and 25 percent of the profits. So if a service club wants to serve chili dogs and curly fries, the fee would be $5,000 to guarantee no other vendor would offer competition. I do not know of a service club, non-profit – or even a business! – in town that can afford to gamble that much money. Even the $2,500 is out of reach for most organizations. So here’s my question: Is this a ploy to use only large commercial vendors who might be able and willing to pay this money? If so, how is this helping the community? This is an idea that needs to go by the wayside.

Finally: I would like to see the Jamboree be more open with the public, more engaged with the community and more in touch with its mission statement. This needs to be done BEFORE we are asked to contribute more time, energy, and resources to ideas based on “demographic studies of two rock radio stations in the Portland area” (Albany D-H 9/13/12). It has to be about more than just money.

Diane E. Gerson

Sweet Home