Trance in Canada

Author: Dam
Date: Feb 1, 2001
Views: 1809


feb 2001


taken from Mushroom Magazine 2/2001
Text: Dam

Since Marino has asked for other stories on experiences with throwing Earthdance parties, I thought I would share mine from 1999. In 1998, the first Earthdance was held in Toronto which ended with bad feelings between the local organizers and the local Tibetan community. This was mostly due to the fact that the money raised was not presented until a few months after the date of the party and some of the expenses were questionable in the eyes of the Tibetans. Despite the problems from 1998, myself and a couple of others decided to go forward with Earthdance for 1999. We spent a considerable amount of time, effort and money to organize the event. The money for expenses (flights for talent, deco, sound, space, etc.) came out of my pocket and amounted to several thousand dollars. On the eve of the party, just as the doors were opening, a group of Tibetans showed up with placards protesting the party and questioning where the money raised was going to end up. The organizers from the previous year happened to be present and the conversation got rather heated. Eventually, myself and one of my partners who was helping spoke with the main representative from the local Tibetan community and convinced them that our intentions were good and that we would disclose all expenses, and information on ticket sales/receipts as quickly as possible after the event They ceased their protest and we invited any of them who wanted to attend (which several did). Within about 2 weeks of the party I had prepared a spreadsheet detailing all of our costs, advance tickets sales, sales at the door, etc. which left us with a profit of about $1200. I first asked the Tibetans where we should send a cheque. I received no response. After several attempts at communicating with them, I asked the organizers from the previous year if they could give us a contact within the Earthdance organization to figure out where to send the money. I tried a couple of different email addresses and again got no response. A couple of months passed, I was out travelling for a month and then when I returned had nasty emails asking where the money was. I replied by saying that I had not received any replies to my earlier querries. Also, I admitted that I had spent some of the money and could they wait a month or so while I sorted it out. Apparently this was not too cool (and yes, I probably should have been a bit smarter). Anyway, I borrowed the money from someone else so I could repay it right away. Right away became about another month ordeal while I worked my way through various people to find out exactly who I should send it to. Finally, I sent a certified cashiers cheque to someone in the US. For those not familiar, a cashiers cheque is not issued until you pay the funds to cover the cheque so it is essentially a guaranteed cashable piece of paper. The person who received the cheque in the US told me that their bank said it could not be cashed and could I send another one. I replied that that was impossible, please check again with the bank. A couple of weeks passed and I finally heard back that oh, yes, in fact it could be cashed but it was going to take some unusual amount of time and there were going to be additional expenses because it was over $1000. (In fact, it was not over $1000US, since it was $1200CDN which works out to about $800USD). All together not a very pleasant experience. What I got out of this was putting a large amount of my personl money on the line with no guarantee what so ever that any or all of it would come back, worked my ass off to the point of exhaustion for no pay, got shit on by the local Tibetans, and got shit on by Earthdance organizers. I did not go into this expecting any sort of compensation since I was fully aware that it was a charity event but I also didn't expect to take that kind of abuse after putting that much effort into it. On the positive side, it was a very good party which was enjoyed by everyone I spoke with and I made some very good friends during the process. I declined any involvement what so ever in Earthdance 2000. Sad that such good intentions can get so fucked up ! Glad to hear that you at least managed to pull off a small party outside after all your other hassles, Marino.

Peace, Dam.

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