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Festival founder sent to federal prision...who is next???


edger
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Yeah he lost his home, his property that he owned where the festival was held, and I believe is serving a minimum 2.5 year sentence in a federal prison. Can't recall if its mentioned in this article but in addition to playing in his band The Schwag (aka Dead Ahead) he was also the bass player of JGB.

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Hmm. Interesting article. I'm of two minds on this one - on the one hand, it's clear the authorities made a scape-goat out of this man and it's a damn sham he lost his property. On the other hand, it's pretty far-fetched of him to say he had no idea of the extent of INDISCREET illegal activities taking place on his property, five or six times a year. In a sense, it would have been irresponsible for the authorities not to have gotten involved, especially considering:

Callahan, the federal prosecutor, points to a DEA estimate that $500,000 worth of drugs changed hands every weekend at Schwagstock.

At some point, it might have been prudent for Tebeau to reconsider even hosting the festival at all. Clearly, these events were being monitored. And, while the authorities may be trying fruitlessly to decide the difference between a music festival with drugs and a drug festival with music, I'm gonna go out on a limb and figure that The Schwag (I hate myself for typing that) wouldn't be able to draw 6000 people because they're just that awesome.

But what I really want to say is, hey dumb hippies - carry yourself with discretion and grace and maybe you can continue to have nice things!

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I'm surprised other festivals didn't pony up money to help defend him. Doesn't this set some kind of president precedent for other festival take-downs?

If you read the whole article it's pretty clear this wasn't your run-of-the-mill music festival. I think the guilt-by-association would be too much for any other fest to speak up on his behalf.

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I'm surprised other festivals didn't pony up money to help defend him. Doesn't this set some kind of president precedent for other festival take-downs?

If you read the whole article it's pretty clear this wasn't your run-of-the-mill music festival. I think the guilt-by-association would be too much for any other fest to speak up on his behalf.

Thanks for reading it for me. Now I'm not surprised that he was on his own.

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https://www.stlbeacon.org/#!/content/29958/encore_tebeau_jgb_032013

This was the original article I came across that kind of tweaked my interest. It was written prior to him being sentenced and speaks to his point of view a little more.

I have no idea what the festival itself was like, so I don't have a fully informed opinion but Gratefulfest is definitely the immediate comparison that came to mind. There has been a lot of controversy in recent years about that festival due to apparent pressure that the owner was facing from local law enforcement to clamp down on any illicit activity.

I haven't been there in a few years so I don't know what its like now, but to me it was far from sketchy. It was a beautiful venue, one that I brought my eight month old son to. Beautiful place to swim, kind people, great music, rootsy (relatively) small feel to it, awesome vendors. Certainly there were drugs around but I don't recall ever seeing anything alarming or threatening myself. I remember there seemed to be an unspoken rule about there being no pot down on the beach where kids were swimming, etc.

I do also recall there being signs about no crack, meth, hard stuff, etc. which was the first time I ever saw "selective" drug warnings as part of a festival. In years since I have been I have heard about some significant shake-downs and arrests that occurred which turned some people away and resulted in the owner receiving a lot of flack for it as well.

If the two festivals are indeed similar than to me its a huge injustice that this man, with a young family that simply wanted to share music and good times with others and of course make a living while doing so, is serving hard time while corporate and violent criminals have a hay day.

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$500 000 a weekend? that's a lot of fuckin drugs being bought and sold on repeated weekends. ok just re-read that and it said DEA estimate so to be fair it could be way less than that (or way more than that) But there's no way that guy should take the fall. They couldn't have just come in a busted the real dealers? toned things down a bit instead of sending one guy up....?

wtf.

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As the guy in charge he has to make every reasonable effort to prevent illegal activity happening. I don't think this will spill over to other *well-run* festivals like Bonnaroo etc - they do everything then can (and are required to do under laws / permits etc) such as car searches, people searches, patrols, etc and can't be expected to find every little thing. But if they see nitrous or powders or blatant open selling / consuming, they're going to make it known that the authorities know, either through a warning, a finger wag, an expulsion etc... The well-run festivals are businesses that don't let preventable liabilities ruin their chance of $ucce$$. People smoking weed in little groups in a field at a music festival is pretty tame - open and constant buying, selling and consuming of all ranges of drugs is stupid and just asking to be caught.

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open and constant buying, selling and consuming of all ranges of drugs is stupid and just asking to be caught.

And a risk that the individuals who are involved in such activity take. If you are openly trafficking or consuming stuff that has the potential to destroy people in an offensive manner (which is all a matter of relative perception) than perhaps you should run into some trouble. At the very worst I could maybe see grounds for shutting the festival down, or fining to the point where it forces a shut down. I've seen WAAAY sketchier stuff go down at the "well-run" festivals like Bonnaroo, and accept that as an inherent risk whenever I willingly choose to attend an event that is that large. I'm not sure who sleeps better at night knowing one passive hippy is locked up with violent criminals.

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