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  • jazzfest/AEG finances

    From offbeat.com this morning, an extremely interesting guest column that includes quotes from this very bored.
    http://www.offbeat.com/new-orleans-n...est-editorial/

  • #2
    Consider it co-signed by me. I fully support his argument.

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    • #3
      Not really too much new here, at least not for me (I've dug into the 990s myself many times).

      When looking at local vs out-of-state contractors, I don't think it's fair to lump the musicians into the mix. Where Tom Petty or Elton John's talent agencies are doesn't really matter, and it's not like fest can find a local alternative for a specific BNA. Excluding musicians and their agents, AEG is the only big out-of-state contractor, and they get the same payout as the locally-owned Festival Productions. The other big contracts - for security and infrastructure - go to local companies. There's also the Fairgrounds itself - that doesn't show up on the 990s since it's a barter arrangement - which is owned by out-of-state Churchill Downs, but again, there's no real viable alternative.

      So any real non-local financial tilt comes down to the choice to book non-Louisiana BNAs. We've been having that debate for a decade or more.

      The black vs white balance of musicians is a worthy discussion I suppose. Looking back at last year's talent announcement video, there were plenty of non-white performers deemed important enough to make the promo. Yes, the top BNAs do skew white, but the complaints about non-local acts, about bands unconnected to Louisiana heritage, would these be any less if Kendrick Lamar or Beyonce were the big Acura headliner?

      The author alludes to a future article delving deeper into the Foundation's finances, and I'm looking forward to this. Before AEG, the finances were precarious, with so little money in the bank that one bad weather year could be a huge problem. But now the reserves are big. At what point is it enough, where they could either drop prices or else put even more of the profits to use towards the sort of excellent programs they support already.
      Last edited by swag; 01-03-2019, 09:46 AM.
      Visit my Jazzfest advice site: http://jazzfest.swagland.com/

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      • #4
        its very hard to read just the 990...lots of info and numbers get lumped together...but according to this the Foundation has made good on its deal with AEG...according to the numbers presented in this article...


        The now 13-year-old partnership has been lucrative all-around. Over the past seven years the NOJ&HF and its Board of more than 60 current and past members has gained on average more than $3-million each year as the Foundation’s share in profits from Jazz Fest. The NOJ&HF now holds more than $40-million in assets, of which around $10-million is cash. Screenshots below of the NOJH&F’s IRS 990s [990s are the “tax return” form that large non-profits send to the Internal Revenue Service] from 2012 through 2015. These are available online through ProPublica’s Nonprofit Explorer website [and elsewhere online], show the Foundation’s steady accumulation of funds via Jazz Fest.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by fichadelphia View Post
          Consider it co-signed by me. I fully support his argument.
          Really? I mean I know where he is coming from, and we have obviously debated much of this here, ad nauseum, but I'm not sure even the Rev. would contend that this is "...programmed suppression of the vast, vital talents currently performing in New Orleans and Louisiana".
          The Meters no longer exist. Neither do the Neville Bros. Same with Allen Toussaint, and (unfortunately) apparently Dr John. So which local talents, currently performing, could be programmed at Accura and Gentilly for 7 days?
          Shorty, yes. Anders, Galactic, Irma Thomas... but after those, it's a struggle to find names of that calibre to fill 50 slots..
          Still doesn't mean that it needs to be the likes of Van Halen, Bon Jovi etc, but that's just a matter of personal taste (or lack thereof).

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by swag View Post

            The author alludes to a future article delving deeper into the Foundation's finances, and I'm looking forward to this. Before AEG, the finances were precarious, with so little money in the bank that one bad weather year could be a huge problem. But now the reserves are big. At what point is it enough, where they could either drop prices or else put even more of the profits to use towards the sort of excellent programs they support already.

            Drop prices! I do admire you optimism. Far more likely i.m.o that they will use their substantial reserves to double down on BNA's, starting with this year, and continue making the fest bigger and "better".

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Canine Horror View Post

              Really? I mean I know where he is coming from, and we have obviously debated much of this here, ad nauseum, but I'm not sure even the Rev. would contend that this is "...programmed suppression of the vast, vital talents currently performing in New Orleans and Louisiana".
              The Meters no longer exist. Neither do the Neville Bros. Same with Allen Toussaint, and (unfortunately) apparently Dr John. So which local talents, currently performing, could be programmed at Accura and Gentilly for 7 days?
              Shorty, yes. Anders, Galactic, Irma Thomas... but after those, it's a struggle to find names of that calibre to fill 50 slots..
              Still doesn't mean that it needs to be the likes of Van Halen, Bon Jovi etc, but that's just a matter of personal taste (or lack thereof).
              I agree 100 percent. The reason the BNAs or main stage acts are less of color and less local, is in no way because Jazzfest or AEG have become racist and anti new orleans local acts. There is just not enough BNAs from Nola or of Color, that would make the 40-50 acts needed have variety.... As swag said, if Beyonce or Kendrick were headlining then the race card may be pulled back but the complaints about local acts would remain. If there were enough acts with variety from Louisiana to fill 7 days of Acura major acts, I am sure they would be on the bill. The same goes with race....since BNAs have gotten more popular and common, there have been a few acts that were not white. If the company was racist, there would be 0 or 1. I think people would complain regardless, but the only valid complaints are because of taste as you said. If the headliners were all not white and did not have any old geezers, people would still find a way to complain. Also, that article says hundreds up to thousands of supporters complaining, that has to be an exaggeration as well.

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              • #8
                Weird Lil’ Wayne who is local and a pretty big act has never been asked to play at the fest. Weird huh? Oh and he has one of the best selling records of the year.

                But hey Kid Rock is touring, let’s get him!

                Its a predominately white event, for a predominantly white out-of-town audience in a predominantly black city. The vast majority of the money and the spotlight goes to out-of-town white acts. Trying to argue otherwise is dumb.

                Y’all can have Maze at the Congo Square stage, which took forever , we get Jimmy Buffett, Dave Matthews, Widespread, the Eagles, Van, etc. on the Fest’s biggest stage every year.

                I mean look at what it took to get Bounce at the Fest and it started here. They had to be dragged kicking and screaming to book Big Freedia.

                Great fucking piece.
                Last edited by Quint; 01-03-2019, 01:30 PM.

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                • #9
                  Isn't the issue with Lil' Wayne his lyrics? They tend to be rather explicit, perhaps even more so than the average act.

                  I don't know if it's just an urban legend that Jazz Fest is considered "a family event," but people have often said Quint has a talk with artists about their language. I think we're at this day and age where the leader of the country can openly curse during his campaign, so I would think language shouldn't matter so much anymore, but while there have been a few curses uttered during BNA sets, they tend to be infrequent. My guess is that an artist like Lil' Wayne has little interest in censoring his music.

                  Who are the BNAs of color? They tend to come from the hip hop world. If you're an in-demand hip hop artist, is it really exciting for you to perform a censored set in broad daylight with the sun blaring in your eyes and often brutal heat surrounding you, all so you can say you performed at an event that has a connection to Professor Longhair, who must be some scientist you've never heard of? I would imagine that most prominent hip hop artists take themselves out of the running while socially conscious acts with a respect for the past, such as Common and The Roots, will gladly play. Most of the people on this board hold great reverence for Jazz Fest, but I don't think those warm and fuzzy feelings are shared by the majority of the pop world.

                  If you think about it, aside from Beyoncé, who is one of the top draws in the world and can command a price beyond RealQuint's budget, Jazz Fest has booked a whole lot of if not most of the BNAs of color who fall outside of hip-hop. If you're an artist of color and you play blues, rock, or modern jazz, chances are you've already played Jazz Fest.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by groovy1967 View Post
                    Isn't the issue with Lil' Wayne his lyrics? They tend to be rather explicit, perhaps even more so than the average act.

                    I don't know if it's just an urban legend that Jazz Fest is considered "a family event," but people have often said Quint has a talk with artists about their language. I think we're at this day and age where the leader of the country can openly curse during his campaign, so I would think language shouldn't matter so much anymore, but while there have been a few curses uttered during BNA sets, they tend to be infrequent. My guess is that an artist like Lil' Wayne has little interest in censoring his music.

                    Who are the BNAs of color? They tend to come from the hip hop world. If you're an in-demand hip hop artist, is it really exciting for you to perform a censored set in broad daylight with the sun blaring in your eyes and often brutal heat surrounding you, all so you can say you performed at an event that has a connection to Professor Longhair, who must be some scientist you've never heard of? I would imagine that most prominent hip hop artists take themselves out of the running while socially conscious acts with a respect for the past, such as Common and The Roots, will gladly play. Most of the people on this board hold great reverence for Jazz Fest, but I don't think those warm and fuzzy feelings are shared by the majority of the pop world.

                    If you think about it, aside from Beyoncé, who is one of the top draws in the world and can command a price beyond RealQuint's budget, Jazz Fest has booked a whole lot of if not most of the BNAs of color who fall outside of hip-hop. If you're an artist of color and you play blues, rock, or modern jazz, chances are you've already played Jazz Fest.
                    You are spot on!!! All the acts of color that are not too expensive for quint and that do not have vulgar language in half their songs have either been on the lineups in the past or will be eventually. Since JF is a family event, I understand why Quint stays away from many of the explicit rappers...and that has nothing to do with color. I am sure he would skip on Eminem, because an Eminem set with no cursing would be absolutely awful and his song choices would be very limited lol.

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                    • #11
                      I just took a gander at the recent years' announcement videos.

                      In 2015, the 3rd act shown was The Meters.
                      In 2016, the 1st act shown was Stevie Wonder.
                      In 2017, the 1st act shown was Stevie Wonder. again.
                      In 2018, the 2nd act shown was Aretha.

                      So those are the representative black BNAs.

                      And if they're all from an earlier era, well, so are Elton John, Tony Bennett, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, and Sting - white acts that were listed in the top 3 in those 4 years' videos. Of the 12 bands, only Maroon 5 had their musical success peak in this century.
                      Visit my Jazzfest advice site: http://jazzfest.swagland.com/

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                      • #12
                        Wait we’re going with his lyrics that kept him from the Fest? Holy shit, let me sit down. Lol.

                        Family event, lol. Keep going this is hilarious.


                        There’s a huge bias against hip hop at the fest, even though there is a great local tradition. I’d image it’s part of the “heritage.” And we all know why it’s heavily omitted, Jesus, just admit it. Lol. White boomers are terrified of it. It’s okay, Glen Frey’s kid is playing with the Eagles now. Take it easy...
                        Last edited by Quint; 01-03-2019, 02:13 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Rap & Hip hop does not play well with the 45 or so and above crowd. Rock did not play well with that age group 40-50 years ago. As my father did not understand and appreciate the music I listened to a 20 year old. I don't get or appreciate the rap and most hip hop music. It is a generational thing.
                          Last edited by Bluesthinker 72; 01-03-2019, 02:56 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Someone seems a little preoccupied with race.

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                            • #15
                              So is there any evidence to the whole family friendly/censorship thing? I feel like we’ve speculated about it but I’m not sure if there’s ever been evidence from the powers that be.
                              (FYI I’m super interested in this conversation but currently in a haze of cold medicine and sick day crudiness. So excuse my brevity)

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