Don’t bankroll POPAsheville

Regarding your recent article on POPAsheville ["Save POPAsheville," July 1 Xpress], I think that it's insane that anybody would think that this is journalism or that an event's planner should be bankrolled because of poor financial planning. This is a shining example of how overgrown the egos are in the music scene here in Asheville. With all the issues facing Asheville (homelessness!!), it seems extremely pretentious to ask for a salary up front before anybody begins the planning.

Get real, people! Maybe if it was for a worthy cause other than just to inflate egos even more than they are, you would find more support for your event. This is the equivalent of a business saying that they need money for marketing so they can continue with their own agenda … sorry, not good enough.

Obviously there is a personal side to this since there was absolutely zero support for my idea of creating an Asheville Music Hall of Fame to funnel money back into the musicians' lives by creating a daylight business and a tourist destination for this city. I sacrificed to the point that I was sick and homeless and realized that maybe I should relax my efforts until the local economy was able to sustain such an endeavor. Maybe POPAsheville should at least consider taking a year off before they assume that "legions of fans" want the same B.S. that hasn't been successful (or at least has been mismanaged). I hope that everybody involved can see how a "cult of personalities" can work against the greater good. What's next, should we pay Greg Brown up front before he starts planning the next Laugh Your Asheville Off? Or maybe Woody Wood will only play again if he has a half-year's salary up front. Excuse me if I throw up.

— Dallas Taylor
West Asheville

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7 thoughts on “Don’t bankroll POPAsheville

  1. Dallas, as your friend, I must tell you that your attack above reeks of bitterness and jealousy. Both you and I have been involved in promoting past music events so I’m shocked at your bitter attacks on Ms Morgan and POPAsheville. In all my work with musicians, festivals, and other music events, I can truly state that Ms. Morgan has injected far less ego into POPAsheville than the average festival promoter or musician. It was a pleasure to be one of a group of volunteers who worked with Ms Morgan on this event.
    Yes…the music business is filled with personalities….always has been….always will be. No surprise there. But I can assure you that POPAsheville was NOT a “cult of personalities”.
    Before you attack fellow musicans and organziers I implore you to step back and ask yourself who is displaying the inflated ego here.
    I wish you well in your own music endeavors but dont expect to garner support for your own music events by criticizing other events and organizers. It’s cheap and beneath you…..

  2. Maya

    Personal attacks? You managed to call Mr. Taylor cheap, bitter, and jealous. Well done. One little thing though… Did you evade answering why we are paying someone’s personal salary or did I miss that eloquent portion of your response?

  3. Point well taken. My response to Dallases attacks were a bit strong and I retract my characterizaion of his comments as sounding bitter and jealous, and offer an apology to Dallas. I hope he (and you) will be big enough to do the same and offer your own apologies for your unfounded claims and accusations toward POPAsheville it’s organiziers.

    Mountainx quotes MS Morgan as follows: “We need a philanthropist or a business that’s really looking to get its name out there,”

    This is how festivals operate. They seek funding in advance to cover the costs of production.

    Putting on a festival doesn’t occur in a vaccum. It takes time and money and the request from POPAsheville sounds reasonable. NOTE that in this article POPAsheville is not asking for public money (ie.taxpayer dollarsas some other festivals receive).

    Having worked with numerous festivals and events it is a fact that once festivals grow to a certain size it is no longer feasible to rely solely on volunteers. POPAsheville’s past success and rapid growth have neccessitated the the call for corporate sponsors or private philanthropists to assist.

    Other festivals have faced similar growing pains.

  4. Maya

    As far as I am aware, I did not offer any accusations or unfounded claims toward POPAsheville. My singular comment lay in your lack of response to the salary issue, instead choosing to go off topic with the writer.

    I am a huge supporter of community events, and am well aware that Asheville is recognized on a national level for the sheer amount of community events that it produces yearly. That’s fantastic.

    Also important to note that besides being in audience, I too have been involved in the production process. I have also been on both sides, as a volunteer sweating it out on the streets, and also as a festival planner and executor. In that respect, my tasks involved soliciting funding as POPAsheville clearly also needs to do to survive.

    I think the affront that I personally found with this issue, while I do not speak for Mr. Taylor, is that though you mentioned the justifiable cost of “covering production,” the definition of production to me does not equate the salary of a single individual. Production costs to me, from experience, mean the show talent, marketing, venue, etc.

    If I were soliciting the necessary help you mentioned from “corporate sponsors and private philanthropists” I would list the aforementioned show talent and venue costs. I would be frankly embarrassed to be asking for large scale donations for ONE person connected to the event.

    While I understand any festival and event that grows in size and popularity experiences growing pains, I do not understand the payment of what looks to even out to be 20$ an hour for Hackett.

    While I wish POPAsheville many successes in the future, without offense to you I continue to disagree two fold with the solicitation of funds (to that degree) for a single person, as well as the way it was portrayed in the article by Xpress.

  5. Dallas Taylor

    The purpose of this letter was to shake things up a bit. Basically, the music community needs to re-evaluate its priorities. I think that my emotions did get the best of me when I saw someone asking for $20 and hour to do what is considered (and argued) a labor of love for the art of it…To get specific, the musicians in this town have been taken for granted and used as props for the bar/venue/website owner’s collective bottom line. The problem is the lack of a collective effort to provide a real voice for the people that continue to provide value to this town. That goes back to ego. Without a collective effort you will not be able to provide things like: an impact study to show the effect the musicians have on the economy in Buncombe Co. Something that the Orange Peel used to get public dollars to refurbish the venue. I think there is proprietary rights to that study…I wouldn’t know because no one would answer my calls or emails regarding the matter. In my opinion…that would have been a better use of a writers time and space in Mountain Express, to ask for funding for something that will enrich Asheville’s music scene for years to come instead of another trend with (obviously) no sure footing for the future. As far as Mr. Talley’s comments go, it speaks volumes to someone’s personality, when after reading that someone has sacrificed for something they believe (without assistance) to the point they were sick and homeless and think that its their inflated ego that’s the problem…What is cheap and beneath me is to take someone’s ideas and present them to the world as if they were my own. As a musician, I would be very skeptical of anyone arguing on behalf of me that hasn’t truly experienced what its like being a musician in Asheville. I commend Mountain Express for printing this and the people who have responded. Thanks.

  6. My intitial reponse was also an emotional reponse to what I felt were unwarranted and non-factual criticisms on inviduals who’d worked very hard to create something which benefited many other musicians at her own expense. Emotional reactions often lead to hasty and ill-worded responses. I regret (and retract) the personal tone of my reponse. I stand by my support for local musicians,festival organizers, and venue owners. We need to support ALL elements of the local music scene and avoid creating unnececcsary divisions and dissension.

    Last nights concert with Nikki Talley, Laura Blackey, and Lyndsay Wojcik was one of many examples of local musicains working together and supporting each other. Last night’s multi-band benefit at the Rocket Club was another example of how local bands combined their efforts to support each other. POPAsheville is also an example of 30 bands and a host of volunteers and sponsors creating something unique for the greater good. Thanks to all who helped make these 3 examples happen. Positive things happen when postive-minded people combine their efforts as happens over and over and over again throughout the local music scene.

    Your subsequent comment above raises some valid points about working together to build up the local music scene rather from a postive perspective. Let’s all (myself included) leave the negativism behind and continue working together to support each other and the hard-working musicians in and around Asheville. (Dallas, Contact me at and lets get together)

  7. Ken

    They are not having it next year…announced on their site. Forget about it.

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