Reggae Rising Festival cancellation to drain US$2M from economy

The popular Reggae Rising Festival, with headline acts The Mighty Diamonds and Third World was cancelled by US authorities this month and will result in the loss of some US$2 million (J$172 million) from the rural Californian community, noted producers.

The event was cancelled for 2010 as the producer, Dimmick Ranch LLC, failed to secure a permit for the annual festival patronised by roughly 14,000 people each year.

Third World was one of the headlined acts for Reggae Rising Festival

“It is a difficult loss this year for the community of Southern Humboldt, and an even greater loss for the world community of reggae fans that have come to love and expect this event each year,” stated the producer on the festival’s website on Wednesday, adding that the festival will occur next August.

The loss of the festival for 2010 will affect the economy of that rural community of California, stated Dimmick Ranch, based on economic activity generated by the 2009 festival.

“Reggae Rising temporarily employed over 400 individuals as well as dozens of local contractors, directly infusing well over US$2 million into the local economy and facilitating a huge additional trickle down to local businesses as a result of attendees buying goods and services off site during their visit,” stated official postings on the Commission’s website from Tom Dimmick of Dimmick Ranch, dated December 2009.

The 2010 festival line-up included the Mighty Diamonds, Lady Saw, Third World, Ky-Mani Marley, Judy Mowatt, Admiral Tibet, Yami Bolo, The Melodians, and others. Its the latest blow to the industry which is already under scrutiny. The cancelation followed a series of meetings with Dimmick and the Humboldt County Planning Commission in California. It ended earlier this month when the Commission concluded that the festival failed to meet all the conditions required to receive a Conditional Use Permit.

Latest posting on the Commission’s website did not explicitly state the reason for the permit denial but challenges arising from the festival in 2009 included “conditions with sewage disposal, traffic, and funding,” according to Commission notices. In fact, the Commission even alleged that “numerous individuals and organisations are owed money for their expenses at last year’s event. According to e-mails from the Sheriff, State Parks, and others, there continue to be payments due to individuals and organisations, including the County Sheriff’s office”. The Commission’s statement, however, contradict Dimmick, who in the same notice, stated that the festival was a financial success and that a lawsuit was settled.

“The 2009 event was produced by the Dimmick Ranch LLC, which took on the full responsibility of paying the Mateel Community Centre lawsuit settlement, as well as accumulated debt from the first two years of launching the new festival. On its own, 2009 Reggae Rising was a financial success,” he stated on the commission’s site.

Organisers stated that tickets for the 2010 event are not refundable and will be valid for 2011.


2 Responses

  1. Nice spin job. No $$$ lost from local economy on wages in ’09 since RR FAILED to PAY their 400 + employees!! Not to mention countless other service providers and even engineers charged with submitting vital documents for permit process!! Mr Dimmick sunk thi$ ship. Too bad. But Reggae on the River, the “original-often-imitated-never-duplicated (and even subjected to attempted theft by RR) is alive and well! Sold out show this year. Bet they are pumping some REAL ca$h (not just promises)into the economy. Go mateel !

  2. Absolutely. Reggae on the River 2010, the 26th year of the event, was rockin! Great lineup. Great time. Sold out.

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