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Artists Stay Loyal to Fans During LA Soul Fest Despite Financial Discrepancies

By Naomi K. Bonman 

Summer time is the time for good food, good company, and good music. This is the experience that many are hopeful for when attending the LA Soul Fest. After a successful year, last year during the 1st annual LA Soul Fest, concert goers were amped for this year’s show and line-up. Despite Sunday’s cancellation, many still made the most of the first two-days.

This year the festival was held at a new location closer to Downtown Los Angeles at Exposition Park, and with a new location came several changes. The first change was within the staffing. There seemed to be miscommunication between event staff, the public relations crew, and the promotion company, Airborne Tickets. For press, checking-in was a bit confusing on Friday where some of us kept getting the run around prior to picking up credentials. Guests also said stated that they had difficulties when claiming their VIP, The passes at the “box office”. 

“Friday and Saturday for us Florida tourist was nice,” Tanya Hurt explains. “I’m very disappointed they canceled Sunday’s show…well I guess seeing how they were disorganized with VIP tickets on Friday should have been a foreshadow of what was to come.” 

Despite the confusion with check-in everything seemed to run smoothly on Friday, even regarding some of the talent skipping the red carpet due to not getting their full pay. Each artist performed and put on a great show in order not to disappoint fans.

Saturday night was a different story. The evening was more hectic with artists not showing up due to no payment. Tyrese went on a rampage via social media about his pay. He was supposed to close out Saturday night’s show as the main headliner. BJ the Chicago Kid was due to open the show, but he dropped as well. However, Anthony Hamilton and Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh saved the show by doing extended sets. 

After Saturday night’s disappointments, it was excepted that Sunday would run much smoother, but due to unforeseen circumstances the show was pulled. The news came at the last minute when guests was already lined up waiting for the gates to open. Several traveled distances and booked hotel fares for the festival, and felt as if they wasted money and that their vacation turned into a disaster. Guests were told via email that they would receive full refunds for Sunday’s show, although some also believed that they should also receive a partial refund for Saturday night since some of the artists did not perform as hoped for.

“Thank you for your support and patronage over the last two years,” Mark Douglas, CEO of Airborne Tickets/Director of LA Soul Fest, explained. “We apologize for your experience regarding Sunday’s event cancellation. We did everything in our power to make this show a success, but fell short financially. We ask for your patience in this matter, as we work to deliver the best possible service to all our customers during these circumstances.”

This is one of those unfortunate situations where you just scratch your head and ask, “Now how do we recover from this?” Hopefully in the future the promoters can rethink and re-manage things to have a successful event like the first year. They may have to go back to the original venue and layout plan, and invest in acquiring sponsors because vendors alone can’t cover all the expenses and payouts of an event that is this massive with A-list talent. 

Photos by Kristina Dixon/11:One Visuals 

Orange County, Palm Springs Organizations Donate Blankets, Craft Kits to Kids at LLUCH Clinic

LOMA LINDA, CA- Members from the Orange County Inland Empire Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and Palm Springs Subaru dealership stopped by the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital (LLUCH) Hematology/Oncology Clinic Friday, July 7 to brighten the kids’ day. They delivered blankets and craft kits to the clinic.

Although over 100 degrees outside, kids could find comfort in the blankets and use them while receiving treatment.

Gaven Hamrick, 9, of San Bernardino, was just one patient at the LLUCH clinic to receive a blanket and craft kit from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Subaru San Bernardino. 

“I can definitely use this stuff with my sister,” the fourth grader said of the crayons, markers and clay found in the craft kit. Hamrick was extremely appreciative of his new blanket saying he likes it cold in his room so he can get cozy under blankets.

The blanket donation is part of the LLS of Orange County Inland Empire Chapter and Palm Springs Subaru participation in the national Subaru Loves to Care Campaign. Through the campaign, LLS and Subaru intend to spread hope, love and warmth to cancer patients through small gestures by donating over 38,000 blankets across the country.

The LLUCH Hematology/Oncology clinic cares for patients with childhood cancers and blood disorders such as aplastic anemia.

African American Organizations and CLB Condemn ‘Racist’ Judicial Council Party Pics

By Manny Otiko, California Black Media

People getting busted for hosting parties based on racial stereotypes is nothing new. But it’s not something that you expect from a legal organization that’s supposed to stand for impartiality in the law. But that’s what happened when photos leaked of a Halloween party thrown by the Judicial Council of California. The Judicial Council is the policymaking arm of the California courts. Its goal is to be an independent and impartial administration of justice.

According to a report from the San Francisco ABC affiliate, the party featured stereotypical images of people of color depicted as prisoners. Some of the male staff members dressed as a transgender character from the TV show, “Orange is the New Black.”

News of the Judicial Council’s party has sparked a political uproar from Black organizations and legislators.

judicial council

“I am deeply disturbed by the reprehensible, racist and poor judgment the Judicial Council displayed at a Halloween party last year,” said Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D- Carson), a member of Legislative Black Caucus and Chair of Democratic Caucus.  “For a public policymaking body that is equipped with the responsibility of fair access to the courts, it is highly disappointing that a group of judicial staff members would put down a race simply to win a contest. It is never okay to engage in stereotypical behavior or homophobic mockery, all while distributing offensive photos over a public server for ridicule.”

“I stand with the NAACP and am calling on the Judicial Council for a sincere public apology and an immediate reprimand of these senseless actions.  This is demeaning, discriminatory, and sends the negative message that black people and members of the LGBTQ community are bad people.Although the damage is done and the seed is planted, and quite possibly for years to come, we will not tolerate bias from a department whose responsibility is that of justice for all. This action will not go unchallenged,” said Gipson.

The California Capitol Black Staff Association released a statement condemning the images.

“As public servants who work for a public body created to provide equitable access to California’s courts, it is shameful that these individuals chose to engage, on state time, in a type of hate speech that depicts dangerous stereotypes that have haunted the Black population in America since slavery,” said the California Capitol Black Staff Association.

According to the ABC report, Michael Roosevelt, an employee of the Judicial Council, said the images make a mockery of the organization’s goals.

“Here you’ve got the image of people who work for and support the courts who are dressed in prison garb, darkening their faces, depicting a prison setting where disproportionately those people who are incarcerated are people of color,” said Roosevelt.

The Alliance of California Judges said the incident proves the Judicial Council needs to be reformed.

“If the Chief Justice won’t restructure the Judicial Council, so its judicial members are elected by their peers, then it’s high time for the Legislature to take control of the judicial branch funds away from the Judicial Council and place those funds in the hands of a trial budget commission consisting of trial judges elected by their peers,” said the Alliance of California Judges in a press statement.

The pictures were also condemned by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena,) chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus.

“The racist actions of those associated with the Judicial Council are shameful!” said Holden.

Dr. Amos Brown, national board member and president of San Francisco NAACP, who first learned about the incident from a Bay Area reporter said, “This should be a wake-up call for Blacks in this state. Blacks make up 6 percent of the California’s population but 45 to 50 percent of the inmate population.”  Brown suggested an “ignorance of Black history” was the reason these employees could host a party in such poor taste.

Brown said he credited the executive director for the written apology discipline actions that have not been announced, but still feels like the damage has been done.

Third Baptist Church in San Francisco will be meeting with judges from the San Francisco Superior Court area on August 23 to discuss how to work together so the criminal justice systems can embody justice and restorative justice for the African American community and the greater community.