Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Occupy Festival Postponed

Occupy Chicago Press Committee

Occupy Festival will be postponed to a yet to be determined date as festival organizers rework the format of the festival to ensure the event is done in a way that is consistent with the principles of the movement. Much feedback from within the Occupy Movement has been already considered and being that the festival is supposed to be about the people, it needs to be done properly with this in mind. These are some of the changes that will be made moving forward with more to come:
  • 100% of proceeds will be donated to the Occupy movement
  • Ticket prices will be significantly reduced
  • The name will most likely change to something other than Occupy Festival
The festival was trying to do good for the people by giving individuals incentive to work for the fest and paying them for their work in a profit sharing model set up with the other 50% not donated to Occupy Chicago. However, after sharp criticism and continually having to explain where the money was going, to avoid the misperceived notion that the festival is trying to profiteer off of the Occupy name, all the wages and labor will be written into the expenses thus donating 100% of the proceeds to Occupy Chicago.

"We are not trying to brand Occupy or profiteer, we are trying to raise money for the movement and keep its momentum going in a good direction with messages through music and art. We are not trying to speak on behalf of the movement, we’re just looking to provide a different platform for people to speak out and utilize their creativity in support of a movement they believe in," says event organizer Graham Czach.

The fest is planning on possibly moving indoors to venues throughout the city with ticket prices significantly reduced. There originally was a plan to have optional donation based entrance; however there was no way to guarantee covering all the fixed expenses.  An event of this size and production takes an enormous amount of money to pull off.

There has also been consideration to changing the name to Occupy Chicago Festival or some alternative to avoid confusion that this is the end all, be all of Occupy. The broadness of the name was in the best intention with hopes that this would garner nationwide and global support to come together and unify during the NATO Summit in Chicago and beyond.

"I will keep trying to bring people together as a musician and Occupy member whether it's through this or something else, because there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed in our society, and I’m not satisfied by indifference. I personally hope we, as citizens of the United States, can organize and focus around specific points of unity that can be changed like Electoral Reform Proposals, Reversing Glass-Steagall, and ending corporate personhood, so we can reclaim our country from the systematically defunct state clear thinking people can see it is currently in. There is incredible misuse of power going unchecked everyday,” says Czach.

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