Letters to the editor

Losing the Grey Eagle

Word is just now getting out. Thought you should know, if you don’t already. The lease for the Grey Eagle has not been renewed. The closing date is Oct. 31. The owners will close the bar and music hall. Plans are to expand My Father’s Pizza into the bar area and turn the music hall into “little shops.”

This is a huge loss to the music community. Some great musicians (Arlo Guthrie, Christine Lavin, Martin Sexton) have played there, and it’s a great jumping board for local musicians like Nance Petit, David LaMotte, Christine Kane, Billy Jonas, Chris Rosser, Beth Wood, Chuck Brodsky (to name a few).

Right now, there is no where else locally for these people to play. The venue at Be Here Now has changed so radically with the new ownership. Acoustic music isn’t really welcomed there anymore, except for big names like David Wilcox and Leo Kottke.

A story, to expose this and draw area support, I’m sure would be greatly appreciated.

Plans are to look for new space. Who knows when the Grey Eagle will be open again. I know I’m sad about this all. (“Little shops”… Please! Something besides more “little shops”!)

— Mary Winchester

Festival should have allowed kids

This past weekend, my husband and I packed up the car and headed for Asheville to listen to some great music at an event heavily advertised by Mountain Xpress, the Brewgrass Festival. We had seen several advertisements for the festival and were excited at the idea of an outdoor music festival on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, when we reached the festival, we were turned away at the door because we had brought our 9-week-old son with us, and no one under 21 years of age was being admitted. As we were leaving, we passed several other parents with children who advised us that children had been admitted in previous years’ festivals.

In our view, festival organizers took the opportunity to make a social statement on the inability of their patrons to act responsibly. As patrons, we are outraged that we should be excluded from festivals that offer the consumption of alcohol — particularly when the sponsors of the event allow children in their alcohol-serving establishments on a daily basis.

Perhaps in the future, festival organizers could include such critical information in their advertising, so that parents who wish to include their children in their weekend activities won’t be so inconvenienced when planning to attend.

— Jay and Jenn Clary

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