High Times Signs Contract With Mateel for Reggae 2018!

Mateel logo feature

A popular MCC logo from the past

Mateel Board Member Eryn Snodgrass wants the community to know that during the Board’s weekly meeting last night, Tuesday the 22nd, they got word that High Times Production had signed the contract for Reggae on the River 2018. Snodgrass says there was jubilation in the room when that news came in.

Snodgrass said it is a 6-year contract for High Times to produce the show at French’s Camp.  He says the Mateel will be co-producing as a limited partner, especially this year– because Mateel staff and volunteers know the site and the time is very short for this year’s set up.

The deal involves High Times paying for the cost of production, not the Mateel Community Center.  The contract says the Mateel will get $75,000 upon signing which is non-refundable and 30% of net profits.  And, for 2018 only, the Mateel will get the first $50,000 of the net revenues.  “Even if that is 100% of this year’s net revenue,” according to Snodgrass.

Snodgrass explained that the 30% of net revenue includes all revenue streams such as the tickets, parking passes, vender booth rentals, alcohol sales.  and he said the contract specifies that the Mateel will create a committee that has the authorization to look at the event’s accounting and verify that the Mateel is being paid fairly.

Eryn said that the $75,000 guaranteed revenue will be wired to the Mateel today, and “that it couldn’t come at a better time.”  He said the money will be allocated to paying the Arthur Family for 2017 so the Reggae can continue and to produce Summer Arts “because we were tapped out” until this came along.

Snodgrass explained that the contract says that High Times will consider all local non-profit vendor agreements and other community values long associated with Reggae on the River.  And Snodgrass said that the event will continue to be live-broadcast over KMUD and that KMUD will continue to coordinate the press tent according to what Snodgrass has been told by High Times representatives.



  • I’m not a ROTR fan … have never been and will never. But this sounds like a positive for the Mateel, which I am a fan of. Good to hear

  • Film Professional

    That sounds like a reasonably good deal. AND! As we know all too well in ‘Hollywood’, tracking profits can be tricky!! Producers have many ways to hide the profits to avoid sharing! Hope there are some clauses that, among other details, speak to HT not allowing cash or trades in lieu of traceable payments.
    With the Mateel’s experience regarding the latter, been burnt by that before, may vigilance and skill protect them!
    In addition, I hope for the Board and Staff’s sake there is also a Sanity Clause. You will likely need it!

    Industry lawyers ALWAYS recommend you view the below when creating a consequential contract!

  • Sold out for 30% of what they used to get 100% of, to steal freely, the Mateel will have a few pennies to stagger on for a day or two. For god’s sake, MCC Board, find something else to do with your time, let others less incompetent and corrupt take over, and meanwhile, attempt to protect the $75,000 in blood money from being stolen.

    The MCC operators are the worst kind of bandits, and they should be brought up on charges.

    The MCC board is still sitting since they need to continue the cover-up until everyone forgets about it.

  • 75K up front, plus production costs , & some sort of last minute talent-line-up is going to end up costing HT’s a bit of change,,,,ballsy move in an era of festivals folding,,,,,,having personally worked 27 reggae’s,,,,, all I can say is,,,,,,long live ROTR

  • That’s a good ending right? Mateel lives, Reggae lives, people get paid,High Times keeps an eye on Mateel. Hopefully this is the last Reggae reset for a long time.

  • I suppose this is good news.
    It will bring money into the community.
    It will also bring the other issues that come in the package with Reggae. High Times can’t fix the environmental impact.
    Remember the jubilation today when you look at the low water levels churned into mud by people who won’t have to live with the damage they do to the shores, or the trash and effluvia they leave in their wake…
    Nobody minds the money, of course, but remember today when Reggae comes around with the street campers and debris, and the need to hire security to prevent shoplifting in local stores.
    The small number of people who work in the local hospitality industry will get to work overtime catering to and cleaning up after city folks with no inclination to tip as compensation for the extra work they create while they party down as though unaware that people actually live here…
    Possibly unaware that other people actually, anything…
    And having worked Reggae for the first three, dropped in on a few of the next dozen, I can tell you I have no affection for the crowds, the dust and the folks who flood the community. Or for the music, which I have always found monotonous. Endless, unvaried, rhythmic repetitions of “uppa-chucka, uppa-chucka”, with messages which are largely political. It may have changed in the intervening decade, but it hadn’t changed much in the preceding decades, so I feel safe in my continuing evaluation of it.
    But that’s my opinion and I don’t participate where I am uncomfortable, so you won’t have to deal with my sour attitude on site.
    You guys go out and play at it if that’s what makes you happy. I try not to spend much time in Garberville , anyway.

    • Sorry but your comment seems low vs elevated. Take care.

      • Low? Elevated?

        Sounds like you have judged me.

        Take care?

        Is this a threat?

        All I did was describe the nuisance value of the event, the environmental impact, and stated that despite having been involved with it I don’t like the music.
        And clearly stated that you were all entitled to do what you will.
        NO ONE was accused or defamed, no slurs were made.
        There was nothing political in my comment.
        All in all I’d say your response sounded like a Bully. Or a Troll.
        I hope I mis-read this, but I notice that you didn’t even use a pseudonym…

        • Chill pill yo!

          • Oh Mobius you haven’t gotten the memo? When the dab-smacked fire dancers have no logical reply or tangible argument ” Take care , “Have a good day,” and “Good luck” are all new agey passive aggressive ways of saying eff off. Now you will recognize that sweetened slime when it hits you.

      • Wink emoji- if you are sorry, why even post?

  • They only have about 30 grand or so after paying the Arthurs / Lets see the real contract with all the fine print

  • 30 grand or so after paying the arthurs. Let us see the contract and the fine print details

  • So High Times has taken over Reggae. What’s next, Netflix making a documentary ?

  • Congratulations?! You ran the festival into the ground. You did it so badly that you even involved our Mateel Hall in the deal and would lose that too. But now you saved us by selling out the festival built upon the backs of volunteers and the community? For $75,000?! Yay? Pathetic and stupid fools. You gave it all away. The MCC Board should now recuse themselves from any more decisions regarding anything that might possibly ever cost anything. They are not geniuses!

  • Yes! Now everyone line up to get a free volunteer ticket for a for profit corporation!
    So much winning here it’s amazing!!!!

  • How does that work exactly, since the MCC has always justified ROTR as the greater good for the SoHum Community over the health of the river and wildlife habitat. So it’s no longer a 501c3 fundraiser, just another for-profit music festival, that leaves more than 44,000 gallons of septic wastewater in the river bar when they leave. Its called karma and it’s already started…

    • Thank you! I thought I was the only one here who remembered the detail about the waste. Almost everyone else is cheering for the party or grouching about MCC politics.

      It has been a LOOOONG time since Reggae was just that little 501c3 fund raiser. Too many people making back pocket profits on it “For Profit” (or at least for the money) was the MCC’s point in continuing it past the point where it was a manageable crowd. The community as a whole is not considered in these decisions, nor the health of the river. They may be discussd, but it seems like they get shoved under the table as inconvenient in the face of a Profitable Party.

      There, now I’ve gone and gotten Political.

    • Ed , Please, Please, start harassing the Humboldt board of supervisors about light pollution. All these greenhouses with lights bright enough to light up Central Park in the dead of winter. It’s taking a toll on the wildlife. The owls will be dying soon because it never gets dark anymore. Please


    Dude… I’m so high right now, so exited…but wait … where’s my money??

  • It’s not exactly the greatest deal but it’s better vs no deal at all. Also it’s not just for $75,000 or 30℅ forever, it was the needed fix, to keep it from shutting down. Yes there needs to be some kind of regular micro audit but I’d rather keep it vs lose it. I hope they are listening to Ed about the waste water. There is an alternative to the current practice and with a corporation involvement, maybe they can pitch in to help solve that. Not to mention, maybe during this next 6 yr partnership, they can help update the ancient sound systems & bring the fest back, as a serious player vs the festies south of here. See ya there! Can’t wait!

  • Do I still need pay to volunteer and sign that waiver that says that they are not liable even for their own negligence how is that going to work

  • Poster formerly known as Matt

    They only have two months. Can they produce the festival & sell enough tickets in that much time?

  • Since the onsite rain catchment pond (780,000 gallons) was empty at least 1 week before ROTR last year (bowl irrigation, compaction & dust abatement) and no one wants to say how all that rain water evaporated or what water was used during and after the event last year; who is responsible for the terms, requirements, mitigation and conditions of approval for the new and revised Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and Special Permit?

    Since “High Times Magazine” is named on the 2018 Operation Plan, are they now responsible for any of the liabilities or conditions of approval with the new CUP and Special Permit?

  • How does that work exactly; the article states:

    “High Times will consider all local non-profit vendor agreements and other community values long associated with Reggae on the River.”

    Consider? And where are these “community values long associated with Reggae on the River” written down so we can read them? Are environmental protections included in these “values”?

    And last but not least, there is this statement or quote:

    “and he said the contract specifies that the Mateel will create a committee that has the authorization to look at the event’s accounting and verify that the Mateel is being paid fairly.”

    Isn’t that called, the fox guarding the henhouse? Given the current MCC financial debacle and questionable debit entanglements, who or whom do you think is being protected, given the track record of the MCC?

    • A lot has gone wrong, but there are no allegations that anyone put their hands in the til.

      It appears more accurate that the boards and leadership of 2014 through 2017 preferred optimistic thinking to budget cutting when they still had some money coming in. They may have had the ‘just one more good year’ blues. 🤔
      Quitting reggae appears to have been off the list of options,
      Blast judgement if you must, but stop short of making unfounded accusations.

      In other matters, the pond water is there to get used for dust control… .thats been said multiple times. it’s in the documents. Quote them to us. Argue with their veracity if you are inclined. But the idea the information is withheld from you is disingenuous.

      • “In other matters, the pond water is there to get used for dust control… .thats been said multiple times. it’s in the documents. Quote them to us. Argue with their veracity if you are inclined. But the idea the information is withheld from you is disingenuous.”

        You are correct, I think I stated that in my post. Dust control is a condition of approval to have the event and comply with the ROTR CUP and EIR. How could the MCC use the rain catchment pond water for “dust control” during the event when the pond was empty? It’s a very straight forward question! However, no one at the MCC will answer the question, or either will you; why is that?

        It was Humboldt County DEH that made this observation; that the rain catchment pond was empty when they inspected the ROTR event site on July 26 & 28, 2017. You can confirm it with either Amanda Ruddy or Melissa Richard @ Humboldt County DEH~707-445-6215.

        • Once again, Dust control for the bowl was aided by watering its lawn for a number of weeks before the event. The grass kept dust down during the event.
          During the set up period, the venue’s roads were actively watered. For the event, the roads were sprayed with a product that lasts a while and is more consistent for the breathing benefit of the attendees.
          The pond water was used. It was permitted to be used. It sounds like you have been in contact with Humboldt county. I’m sure they will tell you if it was used out of compliance with the permit. You have a place to report that here
          The service Kym provides is a community service. I augment that a bit by attending a few meetings and writing a summary. I’m not here to attack my neighbors for their service.
          If something I write causes people to think things aren’t adding up, they can then ask their government more questions and take action as needed.
          That is what motivates me. Journalism isn’t a substitute for citizen involvement, it’s a tool for it.

          • “For the event, the roads were sprayed with a product that lasts a while and is more consistent for the breathing benefit of the attendees.”

            Whoa there Kelley. Are you telling me that the Mateel is using a chemical on the river bar for Dust suppression instead of water? Something that was not disclosed, listed and discussed in their EIR, CUP or Special Permit? What is this “product” you are talking about? Did CDFW, RWQCB or the Planning Department know about this; because the Mateel did not disclose they’re using a “product” or chemical on the river bar for dust suppression!

          • Kelley,

            Please confirm or deny the statement you made above, concerning the Mateel using dust control and dust abatement chemicals on the river below the floodplain during Reggae on the River 2017?

            “During the set up period, the venue’s roads were actively watered. For the event, the roads were sprayed with a product that lasts a while and is more consistent for the breathing benefit of the attendees.”

            The public meeting with the Planning Commission concerning Reggae on the River is June 21, 2018. I would like to know if what you stated concerning dust control during the 2017 Reggae on the River event is true and accurate or embellished.

      • “A lot has gone wrong, but there are no allegations that anyone put their hands in the til.”

        Just because there’s no “allegations”? It’s what most people are thinking. How else can you explain $700,000 in debit. It’s what happens when the fox is guarding the hen house…

        “Journalists should be watchdogs, not lapdogs.” ~ Newton Lee

        • Generally, while you can sling any allegations you want, we have to have proof. And, no, we don’t just start investigating everyone and everything because you accuse them. We have limited time and money. To begin an investigation, we start with at least some indication of wrongdoing. The Mateel has been audited through at least 2015 with no indication of hands dipping into the till. And they have to provide their records to be audited for the other years.

          We may be lapdogs but we’re not inclined to bite everyone you point us toward. However, you are welcome to investigate and write your own posts about what you find.

          • Kym, you need to re-read what I originally posted and what Kelley thought she was commenting to. If anyone is accusatory, it was Kelley and now you. I was just replying to her accusations.

            And, the primary difference between financial and forensic audits lies in the purpose of the audit. A financial audit confirms the validity of a company’s financial records, providing investors and creditors with confidence in the financial information. Forensic audits relate directly to an issue defined by the audit client. This issue may involve employee fraud or a dispute with a vendor or customer. The auditor’s report must meet the standards for presentation in court.

            BTW, the MCC “audit” complied to Government Code section 12586, subdivision (e), you should read them:




          • Please note whats called “GOING CONCERN” in each one of the MCC Financial Audits (2014, 2015, 2016):

            “The Organization experienced significant losses during the year. Without bridge loans from the community and agreements with local business to either delay payment for services or write off receivables for services provided the continued operation of the organization would have been doubtful. In addition, during the subsequent years the Organization has continued to run a deficit with overall liquidity decreasing. Continued operation of the Organization is highly questionable. Management is evaluating options to increase funding and decrease possible future deficits. In addition management is exploring options for increasing liquidity.”

            • Ed Voice- I appreciate your environmental concerns and your investigations of the documents! Most of us don’t have the time to read them all in detail. Please bear w Kym and the rest of us as we are busy with other stuff! I’d love to see you write a comprehensive article about your well-deserved findings and lingering questions and I’d love to see Kym put it up on her blog/news site. I share your disgust with what happened to Reggae and the Mateel through bad management…but our personal criticisms are worth less than our mutual concerns for the river’s health. When you focus on that you are an excellently productive curmudgeon. Carry on brother!

              • I will be submitting public comments to the the Humboldt County Planning Commission in June, concerning the MCC renewing their CUP for ROTR. And also in Mendocino County for Northern Nights.

              • “I share your disgust with what happened to Reggae and the Mateel through bad management…but our personal criticisms are worth less than our mutual concerns for the river’s health. When you focus on that you are an excellently productive curmudgeon.”

                farce ~ Yes, I agree. However, if you asked people of SoHum which they would rather protect; the South Fork Eel River or the MCC, the majority would say the MCC. If the only way I have to protect the SFER is by pointing out “what happened to Reggae and the Mateel through bad management”, then I will do that to. So in other words, if it takes the MCC to reorganization or dissolve to protect the SFER from ROTR, then I will go in that direction…

  • I love how the mateel says they are gonna make sure THEY get paid fairly. What a farce. You squandered half of million bucks. No one trusts you guys and listening to anyof you talk is painful. Y’all are a buncha country yuppies that really have never seen the world. Get with it. The mateel is under by slinme, not the kind hearted folk that started it..

  • At least Crellin is gone maybe some good bands will play

  • All I hear is griping bout, how these newbs squandered it, yet where were all these ancient know betters, who apparently ‘know better’ bout the ins & outs of The Mateel? If you wished it handled differently over the years, then where were you, during this supposed squandering? On vacation in Costa Rica? If you want it handled differently now, then volunteer your time again & be the change you wish to create and save The Mateel, than just trolling it!! Even Ed offers solutions to what displeases him, than just gripe!

    • Abso-fricking-lutely! Thank you!!!

    • Wait a minute. We did the hard work. Myself and countless other “ancient know betters” personally gave hundreds upon hundreds of unpaid hours, vehicle use/abuse , assorted materials brought from home , and exhausted our connections and negotiated contracts/ implemented systems that worked, for years! The event was highly solvent , clearing $225000/year just for the MCC.. Our (phase one) hall was PAID OFF and well maintained. Systems were humming, even after the reggae rip off debacle by our former trusted production company the now defunct People Productions. Who are you to bitch the old timers out? Who marched in and tried to reinvent the wheel , re-mortgaged the hall and generally let things go to hell financially? Seems responsibility lies there, yet if a founding member protests, you expect them to return and fix such an out of control mess? No thanks.

      • Thank you. Exactly my sentiment.

      • Then bug off and stop trolling. Who are you to bitch out those that still care and are still trying? There are folks who have nothing to do with the accusations given, but Everytime you attack those who screwed it up, you also strike those who had nothing to do with what went wrong. Those that only wish to move on from here, than continuing the same old long winded argument that never goes anywhere.

        (Microphone Drops!)

  • rustneversleeps

    Ah, while in some ways it’s cool that ROTR isn’t going to fail this year, it’s important to take a look at the company involved, High Times Holding Corporation. Before merging with Origio Acquisition Corporation in 2017, they almost went under due to debt. In 2014, Origio Acquisition Corporation was listed on the NSADAQ as CB Pharma Acquisitions. 60% of High Times is owned by a shell, former Pharma Acquisitions Co based in the Caymans. This doesn’t sound particularly community minded.

    This, to me, sounds similar to full scale Legalization as it lets the big dogs play for what, on a corporate is a small price, while giving little or no voice to the regular folks and local community. I hope I’m wrong but putting stake with big Corporations never works out well for the regular folks…

    • I guess another good question to ask is,
      “If local families own & run corps like Shell, Chevron, Renner, Blue Star Gas, Best Western, have they been a good asset or a bad asset to the community?”

  • “2,500 staff, volunteers, performers and vendors (comps)”

    I will be extremely surprised if High Times allows this many comps. When I asked Justin why so many volunteers were needed, he told me they needed 2,000 or so because they could only count on about half that number to actually show up for their work assignments much less work the total number of hours agreed to.

    “…will consider all local non-profit vendor agreements.”

    Non profit vendors were priced out of the event a couple of years ago. High Times is there to make money and “consider” is one of those meaningless terms that makes no guarantee the non profits will find their situation any different.

    Most organizations use an accounting firm to audit whether they got paid correctly or not, setting up a committee of civilians who have no experience with this is doomed to failure.

    • I may be mistaken, but don’t volunteers pay $20 online or $25 onsite ticket price? So @ 2000 volunteer tickets that’s still between $40,000 to $50,000.


    • Another reason to keep attendance high (no pun) at Reggae; if you look at the link below, page 10 (2014 Mateel Audit and Financial Report) it states the Arthur Family Trust receives “$6000.00 plus a fixed amount per ticket” per year. And for 2018, the “fixed amount per ticket” is $9.00. So if the Mateel was allowed to sell 6500 tickets, that’s a nice chunk of change ($58,500) for the Arthur Family Trust, on top of the flat fee of $6000, which totals $64,500. And does the Arthur Family Trust make $9.00 per ticket on vendor, volunteer, SOP, staff or comp tickets? Because that’s another 2500 tickets or more. Too bad the Mateel was not as forthcoming and transparent with this agreement. I’m sure, if the truth were known, there are alot more sweetheart deals like this one for even more private individuals, aka “Friends of the Mateel”.


      So how does the Arthur Family Trust account and verify the total number of ticket sales? Do they use a committee from the Mateel for verification or someone outside the Mateel?

  • Remember when the ROTR theme was “Unity”?

    This deal looks ripe for more scandal to me. Plus it seems mighty late to pull this together this year. I honestly wish them all well. But musically, at least, I think it’s been a shell of its former glory for years, and had enough and “retired” a decade ago, after singing along onstage with Bunny Wailer in the early morning hours to close the festival.

    – SH, (20-year ROTR volunteer, staff, crew chief, journalist … and wouldn’t trade those memories for anything!)

    (potential conflict of interest reveal: I now work at this smaller one, now in its 25th year, and it has that old ROTR vibe and quality galore! http://snwmf.com/ )

  • Community-member

    Hopefully HT will allow the Rape Crisis team back into the festival, apparently they had an impasse with MCC legal and haven’t been at Reggae to support sexual assault survivors. Hopefully HT will try to protect the safety of their patrons, something that’s been sorely lacking at Reggae.

  • High times and In the red

    Oh for fuck sakes, High Times is in the same position financially as the Mateel. They don’t make any money on their magazine, and their gigs/events have not been financially successful lately either.
    The Mateel needs to come clean and tell our community how much High Times is in the red for.

  • No saying this Is A Good solution.
    Much remains to be seen how this pans out.
    What is plan “B” should this end up badly is what I would ask of the MCC BOD?
    Have it been thought out that far?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *