Mateel Announced Deal with High Times for Reggae on the River
The Board of the Mateel held a three hour meeting this evening in which a new fundraising effort was proposed and the Board announced a contract with High Times Magazine to produce Reggae on the River.
At the Mateel Board of Directors meeting, Darryl Cherney engaged the room with his fundraising proposal that was well received. He explained to them that he doesn’t need a title, but he needs authorization to act on behalf of the Mateel. And he said he needs staff or board to work with to help him direct his efforts in compliance with the Mateel’s existing bylaws and other rules the organization runs under. He was granted his needs and will begin the adopt a debt campaign forthwith.
The Board was already moving into ’truth and reconciliation’ mode which Cherney had said should be part of the fundraising campaign before he spoke. There was a palpable difference in tone.
Before Cherney spoke during the public comment period, the board heard more from the community of volunteers about their reluctance to talk to people.
During public comment, the crew who create the Kidlandia area of Summer Arts gave feedback about getting a “Dear Coordinator letter’ which was perceived by many in the community as summarily dispensing with the services of longtime workers. Board Secretary Anna Rogers read a letter from longtime Mateel member, and former board member Andrew Burnette, aka Burner. Burner’s letter also expressed frustration that he received one of the letters and asked how the Board can move forward if they don’t work with the community.
And then finally under new business, the Mateel Board of Directors decided it is going to enter a contract with High Times Magazine to produce Reggae on the River for 2018 at French’s Camp. The Board heartily thanked the Arthur Family for concessions made by them in the negotiation process. As yet, there aren’t many details available (See the press release from the Board below).
The news was disclosed in a manner that really highlighted the complexity of a public non profit raising funds by working in a business world as complex and contract driven as the music industry has become.
The Board was going to vote without a word of discussion because they have been meeting and negotiating the deal for 6 months…out of public earshot because of non-disclosure agreements. But the Board wasn’t allowed to vote until it gave a lot of explanation about why.
All the Board revealed is the deal isn’t forever…so they aren’t selling Reggae on the River.
The Board also said the Mateel does not have to spend a cent to make Reggae happen this year. The new producer will take on all the fiscal responsibility.
Board Member Eryn Snodgrass seems truly pleased. Snodgrass feels it will be a well-needed infusion into the local economy that keeps Reggae “in its spiritual home at French’s Camp.”
With regard to Cherney’s demand of ‘truth and reconciliation’ the Board is making progress, but it should be noted that the Board overall continues to struggle with how to meaningfully include the community in their process.
Press release from the Mateel Community Center:
Reggae on the River Festival Announces New Strategic Partnership with High Times
REDWAY, CALIF. – March 21, 2018 – High Times Productions, the event-management team for High Times Media, today announced an exclusive partnership with the Mateel Community Center to breathe new life into the iconic Reggae on the River festival.
High Times will assume all responsibility for the upcoming festival’s talent lineup, marketing, and monetization efforts. The brand will also provide the Mateel Community Center with best practices learned from it’s long and successful production history in an effort to ensure the experience is on par with what the industry has come to expect from it’s premiere brand.
“Reggae on the River is a beloved institution in the Northern California music and countercultural scene, and a natural fit for High Times,” said Adam Levin, CEO of High Times Media. “We already operate numerous music and lifestyle events across three continents and see Reggae on the River as an extraordinary addition to the amazing experiences we curate annually for tens of thousands of fans.”
The festival has been connected since 1984 to the Mateel Community Center in Redway, and held on land controlled by the Arthur family. Originally, it was a one-day musical event to raise money to replace Mateel’s hall, which had been destroyed in a fire.
Under the new partnership with High Times, the center will have the resources to continue growing and developing the festival, said Garth Epling, the MCC Board President.
“Reggae on the River has been a treasured part of Northern California’s cultural scene for decades, and Mateel’s board has been committed to finding a long-term, sustainable partnership to ensure the festival thrives for years to come,” Epling said. “This High Times partnership ensures that Reggae on the River will remain a cornerstone of life in Humboldt county.”
High Times Productions produces a series of Cannabis Cup events annually as well as several other lifestyle and music events tied to High Times magazine, the oldest and best-known brand in the business of legalized marijuana. Given their production chops, knowledge of the landscape, and successful history in both events and media, High Times was the perfect partner for the Mateel Community Center. Reggae on the River marks an important step for High Times Production to manage a broader music event not explicitly tied to the legal cannabis industry, Levin said.
About Reggae on the River:
Reggae on the River is an annual music festival in Northern California, nestled along the south fork of the Eel river amongst the redwood trees. 34 years running, this cultural gathering has grown into North America’s premier live-reggae concert destination. Originally conceived as a fundraiser for the Mateel Community Center, the event has become known from Jamaica to Humboldt as the place to be on the first weekend in August. Visit us on the web at http://www.reggaeontheriver.com/
About Mateel Community Center:
The Mateel Community Center has fostered the arts in rural Northern California for approximately forty years. Serving as the cultural hub of the Southern Humboldt community, we provide arts, educational, and social service programs, and present a myriad of multicultural musical, theatrical, dance, comedy, film, craft, and rental events- earning our non-profit organization international acclaim.
Located in the town of Redway, CA, the Mateel Community Center hall is a showcase of fine woodworking, craftsmanship, and solar design that first opened in 1988. Owned and operated by the MCC, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the Center is well utilized by the entire community and serves as a venue for both commercial and non-profit rentals, as well as in-house Mateel productions.
About High Times:
For more than 40 years, High Times has been the authoritative voice of authentic cannabis culture, leading the fight for legalization and empowering the burgeoning industry’s legal entrepreneurs. High Times content spans digital, social, video and print platforms as well as location-based events highlighted by the Cannabis Cup global franchise and the High Times Business Summit conference series. Visit us at HighTimes.com, and follow @HIGH_TIMES_Mag on Twitter, @hightimesmagazine on Instagram or like us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/HIGHTIMESMag/