[Dixielandjazz] Great CA Festival - Kudos

JBruno868 at aol.com JBruno868 at aol.com
Tue Aug 11 15:47:51 PDT 2009

I also attending the festival this last weekend and had a  great time. The 
lineup was really good but I realized while there that have  I have been 
remiss in giving them Kudos' for changing their wheelchair seating  from 4 
years ago when they where forcing all those in wheelchairs and their  companions 
too sit in the back of the room. After our head butting of four  years ago, 
the directors did start following ADA Federal Regulations to a  point. The 
ADA says that all venues over 600 must have dispersed seating for  
wheelchairs and their companions. That usually means a sections for just  wheelchairs 
in all areas and price ranges. The Directors of this Festival  have gotten 
around that by posting that anyone in a wheelchair can remove a seat  and 
sit where they wish. When you are in a wheelchair, removing a seat is not  
always that easy but it's a good way for this festival to handle the  situation 
under the circumstances and I do give them credit for making the  changes 
they did.  
My battle with the Directors at this festival 4 years ago came  to a head 
resulting from three problems. First, one of the directors actually  yelled 
at me "you can't be here" when I was talking to my mom in front of a  venue. 
Had I not at that instance been leaving anyway, I would have really taken  
him to task on that as I am, under ADA Regulations, allowed to be anywhere  
in my chair it will fit and yelling at a supporter of their festival is at  
least, very rude but then when I talked to the Directors about  the problem 
of seating all those in wheelchairs in the very back of  the room, I was 
actually lied too, twice. I was told, as was everyone  else, that it was "Fire 
Code" that all those in wheelchairs must sit in the back  of any venue, which 
of course was not true and I called them on that point. I  don't know if 
they had just been misinformed or just decided to use that as a  reason to 
make things easier for them but they told the wrong person, me, as I  have been 
in a wheelchair now for over 14 years and believe me I do know all the  ADA 
Regulations regarding my situation as all those in wheelchairs should. Then 
 they told me that they were only following the seating as done at  the San 
Diego Jazz Festival. Again telling the wrong person as I worked  with those 
directors in San Diego regarding their wheelchair seating,  some on this 
list, but I just hate it when someone does not tell me the  truth.
The Mississippi Rag at that time published a great article  informing 
everyone the laws that they must follow at any jazz concert or  festival 
according to Federal ADA Regulations. Sadly the editor of American Rag  refused to 
do so at the time because of their allegiance to the Directors of the  Costa 
Mesa Festival. I'm still waiting for them to be the informative Jazz  
publication they profess to be and get this information out to other directors  of 
any jazz concert and/or festival. It is so very important now as more and  
more Jazz fans find themselves having to use wheelchairs and walkers and 
they  should have seating that allows them the best possible enjoyment of OKOM 
and not  be discriminated against in anyway.
The San Diego festival still gets an "excellent" rating from  me of all the 
festivals I attend for providing the best wheelchair  accessible seating 
for their festival but I will, now, give the Costa Mesa Fest  a "good" rating 
for following the Law even though they had to be dragged kicking  and 
screaming to do so.
Jazz Hugs
In a message dated 8/11/2009 1:51:43 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time,  
GeneLynch5 at aol.com writes:

We spent  last weekend at the Orange County (CA) Classic Jazz Festival,  
had a wonderful time.  Attendance was good, which shows that if  you  build 
a good festival, and run it well, they will come.  We  especially  enjoyed 
the St. Louis Stompers and the Yerba Buena  Stompers and Le Jazz Hot, the  
Django outfit from San Francisco, but  there were many other very good  
To see the  schedule:


There weren't many  young folks and a lot of white hair, but I don't  think 
playing to a  few youngsters is going to save OKOM.  I believe the  
will never be large, but when today's youngsters get to middle age   
(fifties, sixties) some of them will hear it, like it and go to festivals  
and  join 
clubs, and their hair will become white.  When we were  young  (thirties, 
forties) Swing was king, and we didn't know there  was traditional,  
or whatever you'd like to call it but  after we grew older, and the  kids 
the nest, we were free to do  as we chose, we found this music, and now  
we're devotees.

For  our benevolent dictator:  We don't like cardboard CD cases,    We have 
bought a few because we liked the performers, but not the  package.   Jewel 
boxes are great.  

Gene & Betty  Lynch
Harbor  City, CA

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