Rep. Matt Gaetz Is Wrong Trying to Shut Down 30A Songwriters Fest
This upcoming weekend (Jan. 14-17), the long-running and well-respected 30A Songwriters Festival in South Walton, Florida is set to transpire, with a lineup that includes Country Music Hall of Famer Emmylou Harris, along with Hayes Carll, Patty Griffin, Sierra Hull, Adam Hood, and 170+ other acclaimed songwriters from the country and Americana realm.
But the United States Representative who represents the district in Florida’s panhandle where the festival is held is petitioning Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to shut the festival down, and under false pretenses.
Rep. Matt Gaetz has sent an open letter to Ron DeSantis claiming that the festival is requiring “vaccine passports” from attendees, which would be against Florida law that forbids such requirements. But no such requirement is being made by the festival, nor is there even a vaccine passport system in Florida for them to require, since vaccine passports are forbidden by Florida law.
Furthermore, along with unfairly politicizing the musical event, by Rep. Gaetz working to shut down the festival, he is not aiding the free flow of commerce and people, or the protection of free expression, or the opening up of society from restrictive pandemic mitigation measures. He is actively working to get in the way of the opening up of the economy by asking the event to be shut down, which would injure a non-profit promoter, over 200 music performers, as well as patrons, and the local businesses who all benefit financially from the festival, and at a time when they need tourist revenue the most.
Similar to many other events and venues that have already happened both during the pandemic and after the Florida mandate law was enacted, 30A Songwriters Festival attendees do not need to show proof of vaccine for admittance. All they need is a negative COVID test within 72 hours. However, if attendees are vaccinated, then they can also show their vaccination status to forgo the test, all of which is permitted under Florida law.
In Rep. Gaetz’s open letter, he spells out the folly of his own claim, laying out in the first paragraph how Florida law does allow for COVID-19 test screening, but then goes on to say 30A Songwriters is requiring proof of vaccination.
See Rep. Gaetz’s full open letter below.
Regrettably, I write to inform you that within my congressional district there appears to be a blatant violation of Executive Order 21-81, “Prohibiting COVID-19 Vaccine Passports.” Your executive order allows entities to engage in COVID-19 screening, generally, but does not permit different treatment for the vaccinated and unvaccinated.
The 30A Songwriters Festival is requiring all participants and patrons to: “show proof of full vaccination (two shots of Moderna or Pfizer or one shot of Johnson & Johnson) or proof of a professionally administered negative COVID test within 72 hours immediately prior to the start of the Festival.”
This Festival is funded in part by the Tourist Development Council of Walton County, utilizing taxpayer funds. Vaccine passports should not be funded by Florida taxpayers.
Speaking with Chris Willman of Variety, 30A Songwriters Festival co-producer Russell Carter said Rep. Gaetz did not verify anything with the festival before publishing the open letter, nor did he reach out at all. “He just ranted about Vaccine Passports, which we do not nor ever have advocated or required … Prior to sending and publishing a letter to Gov. DeSantis, he easily could have called us to clarify what our policy is or researched it by going to our website to verify there is in fact no Vaccine Passport. Instead he quite simply misrepresented the facts in an irresponsible manner.”
Russell Carter underscored that unvaccinated patrons are more than welcome to attend the festival. He also revealed that Rep. Gaetz has apparently attended the festival in the past, and that his office has solicited the festival for complimentary tickets previously. The festival benefits the non-profit Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County, and is believed to generate an estimated $8 million annually for local businesses.
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Even if you’re against vaccine passports, vaccine mandates, or even required COVID tests, anyone should be able to see that if Rep. Gaetz gets his way, it would mean the unemploying of some 200+ musicians, side players, and support staff over the weekend, and a large loss of revenue for the region. Those advocating for us moving on from pandemic restrictions should be encouraging the economy to open back up, not attempting to use government statutes to shut down events.
Clearly, Rep. Gaetz is using the 30A Songwriters Festival as a way to signal to his political constituents his steadfast opposition to vaccine passports. But since the festival is not requiring vaccine passports, it’s just politicizing a non-political event. Mr. Gaetz may even know his protestations will fall on deaf ears, but his open letter is still injurious to an independent music event looking to support songwriters.
Though Rep. Gaetz’s concern of a “slippery slope” scenario of vaccine requirements may find favor with some, blocking the free flow of commerce and patrons—which is what he’s requesting—would result in a sum negative for those wanting to move on from COVID era cancellations. And if he wanted to address the testing protocols the festival had put in place, he should have done so well before the week of the event. Now, the only freedoms that would be impinged upon would be that of festival patrons who’ve already willingly paid for tickets and chosen to accept the festival’s requirements, and the musicians who’ve been dealing with restrictions and cancellations now for two years.
mouths of babes
January 12, 2022 @ 7:25 pm
What do you expect? The man is an immoral headline whore that likes his partners to be of an illegally young age as he transports them across state lines.
January 12, 2022 @ 8:23 pm
In the United States, it’s innocent until proven guilty. But while trying to research info about this story, I really had to dig because Google was loaded with headlines about how Matt Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend testified in front of a Grand Jury today about how he trafficked a 17-year-old girl. If that’s what you’re facing down, maybe you should be worried about your own business as opposed to the doings of a songwriter festival.
January 12, 2022 @ 11:46 pm
It is the timing of the release of Gaetz’s letter to the Governor on Tuesday night that ii find particularly damning. He released the letter the evening before his ex-girlfriend was scheduled to testify before the grand jury, looking into his trafficking of a teenage girl and I strongly suspect the timing was designed to try to divert press and public attention away from the inevitable news reports about her testimony. If Gaetz was sincerely concerned about an alleged vaccine requirement at the 30A Songwriters Fest, why not release this letter weeks or months ago?
January 13, 2022 @ 1:04 am
Kind of wondered if it was the same thing, trying to create a controversy to draw attention away from his court case. I wouldn’t put it past this slime ball.
King Honky Of Crackershire (Let’s find out)
January 13, 2022 @ 8:42 am
He’s not concerned about a vax requirement. He’s concerned that the uninjected are being asked to provide a negative test, and the injected aren’t. It’s an illogical two-tiered system, based on politics, and Gaetz is right to try to stop it.
Now, the question of him being a pedo is an entirely different topic, and if he’s guilty of that, he should pay dearly.
January 15, 2022 @ 3:11 pm
Google loaded with headlines besmirching a conservative, Good one, Come on Trigger I know you have to appease the libtards on the board but you are smarter than that. Try googling Hunters laptop from hell and see how far you get. Inappropriate, underage activity alleged there too but google and big tech determines what you should or should not see. Once they lose 230 the worm will turn fast.
That being said ANYONE caught abusing minors should be strung by their balls and fed exlax period.
I think by now even our lord and saviour fauci will acknowledge that vax status has very little to no effect on getting and spreading covid. In that case why require a negative test for unvaxed only other than to discriminate against them. I think that is where is was going with his complaint.
January 15, 2022 @ 3:33 pm
You can try and run this through a culture war filter all you want, and broaching politically-divisive subjects doesn’t appease anybody. And again, Google is not going to hit on a headline from a country music website when every single political site is running stories about his ex-girlfriend’s Grand Jury testimony. If you can’t see the musical implications to this story, you’re blinded by politics.
Matt Gaetz was attempting to pull the funding from and undermine an important music festival from happening. I agree the entry stipulations were outmoded. But he could have reached out and tried to handle this thing on the local level. This was pure grandstanding by Gaetz, and I’m glad to see the festival went forward despite his protestations. Just remember, if you stand with Gaetz on this issue, you’re advocating for the cancellation of a music even by government action, and the robbing of a local community of some $8 million in revenue. I fail to see how this falls under the idea of “returning to normal” from COVID-era restrictions.
January 13, 2022 @ 3:32 pm
I’ve known Matt since our days in school. He’s just another political kiss ass who only thinks of himself and never about the consequences of his actions. Just like his trips to the Bahamas. Matt will use people and step on anyone who gets in his way to get what he wants. He’s been nothing like his father who represented our community in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida. So sad to see someone like this representing our great state.
January 12, 2022 @ 7:29 pm
Gaetz hates C(c)ountry music!
January 12, 2022 @ 7:34 pm
Gaetz is a POS who belongs in prison
January 12, 2022 @ 7:35 pm
Seems like a dumbass move, but so is thinking vaccination stops the spread at this point.
I’m more curious about how anyone is expected to get a test and results within 72 hours. It’s almost impossible right now.
January 12, 2022 @ 8:27 pm
Whatever rules the 30A songwriters festival has in place were likely drafted 6-9 months ago, and didn’t take into consideration Omicron or test shortages. If people don’t want to succumb to testing, they don’t have to go. It’s not like a vaccine mandate placed on workers. I think we all look forward to the day when none of these concerns are in place. For festivals, it actually creates a logistical nightmare to check for vax cards or test results. They don’t want to mess with it either. But for now, what 30A is asking from patrons is very reasonable, and if someone finds it unreasonable, they don’t have to go.
January 12, 2022 @ 7:40 pm
Seeing how this letter is going to DeSantis, I’m certainly not expecting him to look into the matter and get the facts. I wouldn’t be surprised if he teamed up with his sex trafficking congressman and shut this down.
Btw, why does half the time I try to post one comment here, I get an error telling me I’m posting too fast and to slow down…then my comment isn’t posted? Is there anyway to stop that from happening?
January 12, 2022 @ 8:33 pm
I really don’t know how to gauge the severity of the concern here. My gut tells me if they shut this event down, it would be more of a PR nightmare than it already is just threatening to do so. But that’s the reason I felt compelled to speak up, just in case it’s a real threat. 30A is actually a really important annual event. Aside from maybe SXSW and AmericanaFest, it’s one of the biggest songwriters festivals all year. Telling 176 songwriters, and probably the 25-30 headliners will full bands “Sorry!” and sending them out of the state in my opinion would be catastrophic for the music community already reeling from cancellations.
As for the comment issue, I sincerely apologize. Please understand that there is a 24/7 war going on behind-the-scenes at this website trying to make sure the sometimes 300-400 spam comments an hour never make it into the comments section. Sometimes its worse than others and it overloads the spam filter, and sometimes things get marked as spam that shouldn’t. If you ever have any issues posting comments, or post something but never see it, feel free to reach out via the “Contact” page, and I will look into it.
January 12, 2022 @ 7:44 pm
Even worse, Gaetz has now made this event a target for his nut job constituents. They can (and will) go protest or act violently against festival participants. That’s on Gaetz for shinning the spotlight on this quaint, complying festival.
It’s like Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene are trying to see which one can be the biggest asshole and we are all just collateral damage along the way.
January 12, 2022 @ 8:55 pm
Yeah it’s going to be the worst assault on America, democracy and all that, since like Pearl Harbor.
January 13, 2022 @ 7:53 am
I don’t think that anyone will show up to protest or act violently. The ones who aren’t vaccinated and don’t want a test will just stay away and do their own thing. And in your comment below you called Honky a sheep. What would your definition of a sheep be? Because my definition of a sheep doesn’t sound like Honky at all
January 13, 2022 @ 8:44 am
I come from a family of sheep farmers, and I feel facetiously compelled to defend their honor. Sheep are hardy, profitable livestock that thrive in scrub land that other stock might not. They produce meat, dairy, AND wool products, are relatively easy to work with due to their size and pleasant nature, subsist mainly on roughage, fertilize the fields on which they graze, and look peacefully beautiful in pasture on a foggy morning.
Pick another farm animal to slander your idiotic culture war opponents with! I nominate guinea fowl.
January 18, 2022 @ 10:32 am
This aged well.
Wilson Pick It
January 12, 2022 @ 7:46 pm
I think giving people a choice between proof of vaccination or a negative test is a pretty good middle ground between the two extremes of this debate – to use the insulting terms, the Faucists and the Covidiots. I went to a Willie Nelson show last summer where they did this… they had rapid testing sites right outside the venue. Hopefully we’re almost done with this crap. I guess Fauci just stated on the record that “just about everybody” will get Omicron, which is reportedly milder, and which would make it harder to justify all the restrictions, so potentially back to normal once the wave is over.
King Honky Of Crackershire (HUGE MTG fan)
January 12, 2022 @ 8:03 pm
Maybe I’m missing something, but are you saying Gaetz is accusing the concert of requiring passports, while knowing the concert doesn’t require passports? Or are you saying he’s trying to shut the concert down because he believes the testing requirement is a slippery slope? Or is it both?
January 12, 2022 @ 8:59 pm
I’m not sure Rep. Gaetz even knows what he’s saying. There is no “vaccine passport” required at this festival, meaning some sort of electronic app or QR code where your vaccine data is stored. This is unarguable. And as the co-promoter said explicitly, unvaccinated people are more than welcome to attend with a negative test, and they in no way advocate for vaccine passports. It does appear Gaetz is trying to shut the festival down, either by saying they violated the law, or by pulling their funding from the Tourist Development Council of Walton County. Whether he will be successful or not, I don’t know. I’m just pontificating that MAYBE Gaetz knows there’s not a prayer this will actually happen, but he sees this as a fruitful opportunity to grandstand against “vaccine mandates,” which again, are undeniably not even on the table. But this is speculation on my part. If this festival does get cancelled because Florida decides they broke some law, I can only imagine it will go over look a poop in a punchbowl. Sucking 8 million out of the local economy by canceling a festival under the guise of trying to “return to normal” is cutting off your nose to spite your face.
King Honky Of Crackershire (Let’s find out.)
January 12, 2022 @ 9:11 pm
If a negative test is required for the uninjected, then a negative test needs to be required for the injected. It’s logically fallacious and morally depraved to do otherwise. I’m glad Gaetz is trying to punish them. This is a teachable moment for them, and I hope they suffer, and learn.
January 12, 2022 @ 9:22 pm
I actually 100% agree that testing is what we should be doing, not vaccine requirements. First with Delta, and now especially with Omicron, we know now that vaccinated individuals can get and pass the disease. It still may be less likely for them, but not in a way that makes it bulletproof enough to guarantee a safe environment. Jason Isbell just tested positive today.
But I also don’t think we should turn this into a culture war issue. Let these songwriters have their festival. Cancelling a festival and infringing on people’s freedom under the pretense you’re battling against the infringement on freedom from “vaccine mandates” which are not even in play here is definition of the treatment being worse than the disease, while cancelling this festival would be a catastrophic PR blunder, and an economic gut punch to the region, and to independent music.
January 15, 2022 @ 3:33 pm
IF we had a working vaccine I could understand the logic but what we have is just a prophylactic that to be honest appears to fairly effective for that purpose. What does testing unvaxed only accomplish? It is against the spirit if not the letter of the law. I do say let it play and just dont go if you are uncomfortable. Now will the blues states allow events that dont check for either? You bet your ass they wont.
King Honky Of Crackershire (Let’s find out.)
January 12, 2022 @ 9:05 pm
Never mind, Trig, I figured it out. And I’m very happy Gaetz is doing this. This is precisely the kind of pain I want to see. Anybody, and I mean every, single person or entity who has advocated in any way for a two-tiered society, needs to suffer for it. They need to feel pain until they stop trying to cause pain, and then a little more pain after that as punishment.
January 12, 2022 @ 9:12 pm
“They need to feel pain until they stop trying to cause pain, and then a little more pain after that as punishment.”
Huh. Reminds me of what folks say about the unvaccinated.
King Honky Of Crackershire (Let’s find out)
January 12, 2022 @ 9:19 pm
Yes Trig, it does. I’ve been given the rules, and I intend to play by them.
January 12, 2022 @ 9:46 pm
This proves my point about the target Gaetz put on this festival. Terrorists like King Honky saying, “They need to feel pain until they stop trying cause pain, and then a little more pain after that as punishment.” That’s crazy!! And this is the kind of person who follows Gaetz like a sheep.
And assholes Jake Cutter sit around and agitate and laugh as the world (comment section) burns.
I stopped commenting and frequenting the SCM comment sections as often as I once did, because of these two attention seeking, extremists; keyboard tough guys with one agenda – triggering chaos. When Trig first started SCM, there was no way of knowing it would attract such low hanging fruit. But it did. And these two just sit and fester all day in their misery waiting to derail the next article Trig posts.
If there was no SCM comment section, these two would move on to bully and terrorize some other internet community. Because they have nothing else in common with the rest of us. They don’t love music, participate in the live show experience, or share anything valuable with the SCM community. Just hate, hate, and hate.
January 12, 2022 @ 11:01 pm
Lol. I don’t agree with Honkey’s comments here but you’re being ridiculous. “Bullying,” “hate,” and….wait for it….”terrorism!!” You shit on people left and right with your sweeping generalizations and stereotypes ad nauseam. But to me actually that’s the most bearable part. It’s your incessant whining that’s the most irritating. Most of the time I just ignore it and am happy to do so completely in the future, if it saves you some tears. But perhaps as Trigger suggested earlier…you got a problem with this festival, don’t go. By the same token, you have a problem with certain peoples comments….here’s a novel idea…don’t read them??
January 13, 2022 @ 6:48 am
I don’t know Cobra or have I read any of his posts (that I can recall).
I wouldn’t know Jake Cutter if you didn’t respond to all my posts with snarky, attention seeking comments that aren’t even political in nature. For instance, earlier in this thread, you responded to my post about the target placed on the festival participants with a sarcastic comment about Pearl Harbor. Your politics have nothing to do with you being a needy, pot-stirring jerk.
January 13, 2022 @ 9:24 am
Oh my bad on Cobra, I mistakenly thought the hall monitor aka spokesperson for the SCM Community© might have been a little more aware of the community. The Pearl Harbor comment was, indeed, a timely criticism of your hyperbolic and extremist demonization, which is on display here. I don’t reply to “all” your comments. And Honkey is not a “terrorist.” But, I will agree with you on one thing….if objecting to such nonsense makes me a stirrer of the pot, then I’ll gladly accept that characterization. And, as previously offered, I’m happy to not reply to you moving forward, if you can’t handle it.
January 12, 2022 @ 11:28 pm
Hoptowntiger is right, and this is a sentiment I hear from readers all the time in my inbox, including ones that tell me they’ve stopped reading the site entirely because what the comments section commonly descends into. I actually think the comments sections improved near the end of 2021, but the beginning of this year has gone right back to the worst. I wouldn’t put Jake and Honky in the same boat, but I would say that we all have a responsibility here to make sure these comments sections function well. I lose readers because I refuse to censor or kick certain commenters off entirely because censorship is the last thing I want to participate in, and some commenters are taking advantage of that. If we cannot function better as a community, I will have to censor more, and perhaps, turn off comments on certain articles entirely.
As Honptowntiger said in another comment, Matt Gaetz calls out something like a songwriter festival, and his Stans take it as marching orders and mobilize. And instead of the music community mobilizing to support the festival, my own readers take turns reefing me in the nuts for “getting political.” “I don’t want to read this, Trig!” Meanwhile 176 songwriters are sitting there wondering if they’ll have a festival to play this week. What a selfish attitude.
I didn’t get political, Matt Gaetz veered into music, and I responded. And it’s a shame that what most people are focused on is one uping each other in the comments.
King Honky Of Crackershire (Let’s find out)
January 12, 2022 @ 11:55 pm
I’d ask you to look at what you’re doing here. You allow multiple people to come on with anti-Gaetz opinions, no problem. Then I come on with a pro-Gaetz opinion, and you allow another commenter to call me a terrorist and whine incessantly that I have a different opinion than him. And then you come on and lecture as though it’s all my fault. I’m not the one who wants other commenters banned, or threatenens to quit reading. I’m also not a Gaetz stan; if he’s really a pedo, I hope he goes down for it.
Am I missing something?
January 13, 2022 @ 8:03 am
Yep, just like The Gentile, crying that your side gets dealt with differently, like you’re a bunch of elementary school kids. Maybe I’ll just shut down the comments entirely. That will ensure everyone gets dealt with equally.
January 13, 2022 @ 12:01 am
As I said in my earlier comment, it’s a “dumbass move” so I’m not sure why you’re trying to convince me about the politician being a “dumbass” politician.
Obviously you can do whatever you want with your site, but personally I think I’d be a shame to start censoring more because certain people essentially want to gaslight other people’s opinions that disagree with their own, and they can’t handle hearing, or can’t figure how to not read things that hurt their feelings. My GUESS is that It’s not that Hoptown has issues with people who want to “disrupt” the site…it’s people of a certain political persuasion that he wants to shut up. I’m not even a conservative, but I’m tired of people trying to silence them. Case in point: While I’ve actually picked up on some great music from Honkey, there are a few commenters that only comment on your more political articles, and rarely about music. One in particular, Cobra, seems to come here with the sole intention of arguing with you and subtly accusing you of being dishonest, racist, etc. Note that he receives no pushback from Hoptown at all. Now….why do we suppose that is?
King Honky Of Crackershire (Let’s find out)
January 13, 2022 @ 12:15 am
Exactly, Jake. Man, that’s a perfect explanation of what I see on here as well. In addition to his whining, Hoptown has made some very “divisive” comments in the past, but he’s never been scolded for it. Trigger has already deleted my reply to him on this article.
For the record, I wouldn’t label myself as conservative. I’d probably just call myself an anti-communist. If you were to assign yourself a label, what would it be?
King Honky Of Crackershire (Let’s find out.)
January 13, 2022 @ 8:09 am
I’m sure you’re busy, but I was really asking, and would appreciate an answer.
If the answer is that my opinion is too out of line with this site’s opinion, then just say that and I accept it.
Other that that, what rule did I break? Everyone was already talking about “politics” before I joined in.
January 13, 2022 @ 8:25 am
Honky, I’ve addressed this over and over. The Gential and others on the other side feel the exact same way you do. They think they’re being unfairly treated, because neither of you see the comments I delete. The idea that I deal with one side or the other unequally is ludicrous. But if you feel that way, feel free not to comment. But I’m done babysitting you and your comments and making you feel like I am at your fucking service 24/7 as opposed to a writer whose one of many jons is to also moderate comments.
King Honky Of Crackershire (Let’s find out)
January 13, 2022 @ 8:26 am
…..”Yep, just like The Gentile, crying that your side gets dealt with differently, like you’re a bunch of elementary school kids. Maybe I’ll just shut down the comments entirely. That will ensure everyone gets dealt with equally.“…….
Dude, Trig, you allowed another commenter to call me a terrorist, and then you blamed me for him being upset. I don’t care what names people call me, but can’t you at least let me defend myself?
I don’t want you to shut the comments down. I just want you to tell us the rules, and then hold everyone to the rules. And quit blaming me for other people getting upset.
January 13, 2022 @ 8:54 am
Because Hoptowntiger is not CONSTANTLY causing a disruption in this comments section. I am not CONSTANTLY getting emails from people saying they will never read this site again because of Hoptowntiger like I do with you. You have cost me THOUSANDS of readers, and still you’re here bitching about how you’re dealt with. If you don’t like how I deal with these comments sections, fuck off.
Any more comments about comments immediately get deleted.
January 13, 2022 @ 9:56 am
hey trigger, actually we do get treated differently because king honky regularly says things about hurting people and i have never said that in any comments banned or otherwise. i usually complain when someone comments, takes a shot against me and my response is blocked. not even close to being the same. get real.
January 14, 2022 @ 7:59 am
I have been reading Hoptown’s comments for over a decade and I think Jake Cutter has “GUESSED” wrong about what motivated Hoptown to speak out here. And there’s also been some level of culture war commentary in the comments and I think one has to expect that to some extent on a country music site, especially one with the strident name of “Saving Country Music.” But I think it’s gotten to the point where’s there’s not as much “magic” to be found in the comment sections these days. Like Hoptown, I don’t comment as much as I used to (before this article, it had been about a month), and that’s largely because the comments section doesn’t feel as much like my country/roots music loving community anymore. There’s still some folks whose comments I like to read (e.g., Kevin Smith). I still check out the site every day and I have no intention to stop reading. I’m not one to cut off my nose to spite my face. It’s still my most important source (and by FAR) for new music and Trigger remains my favorite music writer.
Some seem to be triggered by Hoptown’s use of the word “terrorist” to describe what The Honkster does in these comment sections. The term I would use is “bomb thrower,” which isn’t that different. And he’s been doing this shit for YEARS. There’s a reason he’s been on moderation all this time. And I’ve lost count of how many times Trigger has asked that people be more responsible when making comments. That when you’re commenting, you’re not just representing yourself, but you’re representing SCM as well. That bad actors who not wish this site well can pull quote inflammatory comments and use them to paint this site in a negative light (I’ve definitely seen that done). That enough readers/commenters might be driven away such that the comment sections will turn into an echo chamber and that Trigger does not want that to happen. The crowd that I think these pleas are largely directed at (many of them long time readers) seem to continually blow him off.
January 14, 2022 @ 9:05 am
“when you’re commenting, you’re not just representing yourself, but you’re representing SCM as well. That bad actors who not wish this site well can pull quote inflammatory comments and use them to paint this site in a negative light (I’ve definitely seen that done). That enough readers/commenters might be driven away such that the comment sections will turn into an echo chamber and that Trigger does not want that to happen. The crowd that I think these pleas are largely directed at (many of them long time readers) seem to continually blow him off.”
All of this.
And just to underscore this point, one of the reasons why I vehemently believe in a comments section is because I want people to be able to share their opinions, I want people to disagree with me and challenge my opinions or assertions, and it also often works as a good discovery mechanism for other news and music for people.
One of the reasons music journalism these days is so bad (and journalism in general) is because journalists live in self-curated Twitter echo chambers where they don’t have to interface with any opinions that challenge their own, or information that refutes what they want to believe. That is why I encourage dissenting viewpoints, and viewpoints from a wide array of perspectives, including Honky’s and other regular commenters, despite the distractions they cause. But EVERYBODY is going to have to understand that these comments sections are a resource that is going to go away if folks can’t see the bigger picture, and at least bring a modicum of respect of their fellow commenters, and making sure not to veer into divisive subjects. I’m tired of NOT covering certain important topics just because I’m afraid of what’s going to happen in the comments section. This was an important topic, and it’s important everyone buy into that, give their opinions, but do it in a more healthy manner. Otherwise, drastic action will be taken.
King Honky Of Crackershire
January 14, 2022 @ 9:01 am
I’ve yet to see one objective explanation of what makes my comments “bad”, or worse than others. I continue to see complaints, without specific explanations. I say what I believe, and believe what I say, as I assume everyone else does. I see lots of comments on here, daily, that I might consider “flamethrowing“, but when I see that, it makes me want to engage with those people, or ignore them, as opposed to complaining about them or threatening to stop reading.
I almost never initiate these discussions, and make an effort to follow the rules, so I can only conclude that it’s the side of the argument I’m on that bothers you. And if you, or Trigger, or anybody would just say that, then this would all make perfect sense.
Think about what Jake said, regarding the commenter “Cobra”, and ask yourself why you haven’t complained about that individual. I could rattle off a list of names of people just like “Cobra” if you want.
Bottom line, I think you’re okay with “inflammatory” comments that align with your worldview; and I totally get that; but I just wish you’d admit it.
January 14, 2022 @ 9:08 am
Believe it or not Jack, I was wondering if you were going to chime in. And sincerely, it’s because I actually value and appreciate your comments. I still mostly disagree with you here, but you at least make good spirited arguments and I haven’t personally seen you whine about, or lobby for peoples voices to be silenced…something I can’t relate to or understand. If Honkey is a “bomb thrower,” my question is…why is it so hard to ignore him? Is it like a car wreck that people can’t look away from? He doesn’t trick people into reading his comments by changing his username. I’m genuinely curious to know WHY people (maybe, but not necessarily you) would rather have a version of a comment section that was sanitized and fake (censored) than honest, and one that you could yourself make the choice in what to read? Blackh4t once made a comment that he doesn’t read my comments. Something about a bad word to value ratio. Cool. Good for him. Seems like a mature and practical solution. My guess is, again, that people don’t want a mature and practical solution. They want punishment for wrongthink. That’s what I object to. And P.S, I’m not triggered….I think the use of over exaggerated and demonizing language like “terrorist” is pretty funny, partly because it shows weakness.
January 14, 2022 @ 10:35 am
“I’ve yet to see one objective explanation of what makes my comments “bad”, or worse than others.”
maybe this will help:
honky – “Anybody, and I mean every, single person or entity who has advocated in any way for a two-tiered society, needs to suffer for it. They need to feel pain until they stop trying to cause pain, and then a little more pain after that as punishment.”
honky – “Yeah those of us on “the right” tried the live-and-let-live approach. But we’re way past that now, and it’s too late to go back. Pain is the only thing these cretins will understand.”
honky – “I want Fauci tried and executed legally.”
everyone else – the 28-year-old who uses the n-word shouldn’t be playing the opry.
King Honky Of Crackershire
January 14, 2022 @ 1:35 pm
What thegentile[sic] says here does help, because it confirms my suspicion, that these complaints are ideological in nature. He may not express it in identical terms, but he most definitely feels the same way about non-leftists as I feel about leftists. I would also note that he didn’t explain why those comments are “bad”, only that they are “bad”, which, is yet another logical fallacy.
I said every one of those things, and stand by them. I meant every word, and can easily explain, using data, logic, reasoning, and even historical precedent for why I hold those views. I don’t ever go very far beyond simply stating my views, due to the “drive-by” nature of the SCM comments section. It’s not a platform that lends itself well to long, drawn-out discussions, and…I TRY TO HONOR TRIGGER’S REQUESTS.
thegentile[sic], Hoptown and others, have said a mountain of things that I find extremely disturbing, but in 10 years, I haven’t once complained about it to Trigger, or suggested they be deleted or banned. I’d rather express my disagreement than censor people.
It’s sad to say, but this makes me feel like we on the right, are at a disadvantage because we don’t complain enough about other commenters.
January 14, 2022 @ 2:27 pm
: D Honky!
Get hold or yourself, sir.
Do Not lump Hoptown in with the gentile. NO. *Ick …*
although, wishing the gentile a good day anyway.
Hoptown has it going on.
January 14, 2022 @ 10:43 pm
honky, the fact that you can’t acknowledge that you’ve said horrible, violent things towards opposing viewpoints is, sincerely, super fucked up. trig, it’s super fucked up that you just lump it all together.
January 14, 2022 @ 10:50 pm
What I am comparing is the way it’s the same group of people that cause a disruption in the comments section, and you are one of them. You go up and down the comments section, leaving snarky comments, participating in back and forths, as opposed to elevating the discussion, and bringing important perspectives to topics. Sometimes it is important to challenge other commenters, and so that role can sometimes be positive. The more important point here is that we ALL much contribute to a more healthy dialogue, or there won’t be a forum for dialogue around here much longer.
King Honky Of Crackershire
January 14, 2022 @ 11:59 pm
Let’s be clear about one thing, Trig. I’ve never made a single threat of violence, nor would I. The comment about Fauci is an expression of my desire to see justice legally served by trial, and thegentile[sic] knows that. I clearly believe the man has blood on his hands, or I wouldn’t hold feel so strongly about it.
January 13, 2022 @ 3:31 am
The problem is that the other side can’t handle it when it’s being played on them. Don’t give a flip about this festival since I’ll be nowhere near there and wouldn’t get a Covid test to be able to do anything. Only a fool is happy to show a pass for something he used to do without one
January 13, 2022 @ 4:05 am
Part of it is legal liability, not trying to control the spread of disease. While there have been some propositions there is no law guaranteeing businesses immunity from lawsuits brought by their customers or workers over possibly catching covid on their premises or under their care. So having any sort of testing requirements gives you something to argue if you do have to go to court. Vaccinated people are less likely to be hurt in any way they could sue over and unvaccinated people who are already sick and get worse after the event can’t blame it on them. There’s more at stake than political beliefs in these decisions.
I run a small construction business and I’m vaccinated but I don’t care if my employees are. Until I got a big, lucrative job that happened to take place at a pharmaceutical company and required proof of vaccination. So anybody who didn’t want to get it wasn’t fired but they were taking a month long unpaid vacation or could see if unemployment could run them a check before we were done at that site. Money rules everything.
January 13, 2022 @ 6:26 am
Are you aware of a single lawsuit, especially successful one, about this? I’m curious about my business as well. I suppose it would be very difficult to prove exactly where an attendee was infected. Plus, imagine the precedent of a major case. Would a bar that doesn’t sell condoms in the bathroom be liable for someone contracting aids? How about emphysema? I say all this, but of course you’re right, a good lawyer, motivated by said money, could at least make the cost of defending yourself a problem…
King Honky Of Crackershire (Let’s find out)
January 13, 2022 @ 8:15 am
You’re right. The other side can’t handle opposing viewpoints. But that doesn’t explain Trig’s double standard, because he says he’s “apolitical”.
January 13, 2022 @ 11:11 am
“You’re right. The other side can’t handle opposing viewpoints.”
That’s bullshit. Artists like Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash were perceived to be on one side or the other in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Yet both of them were universally respected by the country music audience. Even more recently, I’ve seen a video of Steve Earle performing on the Grand Ole Opry with the Oak Ridge Boys. Earle is, of course, very left-wing and at least one member of the Oaks is very outspoken in his right-wing views. Charlie Daniels recorded a tribute album to Bob Dylan in 2014. Daniels was, of course, on the right, while Dylan has long been considered a key figure in the (left-wing) 1960s counterculture. There are also videos out there of left-wing songwriter Kris Kristofferson seemingly having a great time with Hank Williams Jr. (who mentioned Kris as a friend in one of his best-known songs). Roy Acuff was a Republican candidate for governor of Tennessee who had no issue collaborating with a band of L.A. longhairs (or left-winger Earl Scruggs on the same session, for that matter). Nor did Travis Tritt shy away from inviting left-wing rock star John Mellencamp to appear on his album. Alabama praised FDR (America’s most left-wing president) in song and that was just one of their 41 #1 hits both before and after.
I could go on, but my point is that for nearly the entirety of country music’s history artists of varying political persuasions have collaborated, respected one another and have all been respected by the audience in general. There isn’t a single person I’ve mentioned above who I don’t own multiple albums by or wouldn’t/wouldn’t have paid to see perform.
The culture war in country music stems directly from the country music audience becoming more suburban and then right-wing snowflakes within that crowd being triggered over the Dixie Chicks expressing an opinion. It’s never right for someone to be canceled over free speech, but you don’t get to demand that the radio station stop playing the Dixie Chicks and their country music and then bitch about them not playing Morgan Wallen and his pop garbage. Your side is the one who started this whole thing and all because you couldn’t handle one lady’s opinion.
King Honky Of Crackershire
January 13, 2022 @ 11:34 am
I’m not against cancel culture. I love trying to cancel people who want to destroy my way of life. Maybe you should find a Republican to argue about cancel culture with.
I’m specifically talking about the commenters on this website. I’ve got Trigger telling me I constantly cause disruptions here, which causes his leftist readers to threaten to quit reading. But I seldom, if ever, attack other commenters directly. So, I have to assume Trigger is saying my opinions are too “mean” for leftists to handle.
One thing’s for sure. I never click on one of Trigger’s articles with the intent of leaving a “political” comment. I only do so, after I see that’s the direction everyone else is going. Yet, I get blamed. And I’m not even “bitching” about it, as much as I am trying to understand Trigger’s logic.
I’ve supported Trigger for a decade, and will continue to. I just want to understand why I’m being blamed for the behavior of others.
January 13, 2022 @ 2:00 pm
Quit whining, you snowflake.
The SCM comment sections in the early years were much more brutal. Go back and read some of the comments. It was the Wild West.
And you misused the world terrorist. Stick to music. You are, at least, half decent at that. Until you start whining about Turnpike.
January 13, 2022 @ 2:32 pm
I vehemently disagree. The language was saltier back then, but no one attacked another member of the music community like they do now. My Hank III fandom brought me to SCM in late 09 and I frequently go back and read those articles and comments and they are nothing like they are today (it all started when Trig began covering mainstream country – just joking).
How did I misuse terrorist? I went back and looked and it looks right to me.
I haven’t commented negatively about the Turnpike Troubadours since I said I would stop (a few TT articles back – Thanksgiving).
January 13, 2022 @ 4:13 pm
I’m with hoptown on this one. I’ve been a near daily reader since his review of El Santo Grial (which looking back was June 2011), and these comments didn’t get really crazy until recently. There always would be an occasional article that would spark something…typically when Shooter Jennings was mentioned; but generally people weren’t attacking each other or getting into political discussions. I myself need to respect Trig’s rules more but sometimes it’s hard when you see what’s going on here. I’ll make a better effort moving forward though.
January 13, 2022 @ 6:07 pm
Something else people need to understand is this is not just Saving Country Music. This is everywhere. It’s the United States. This is the reason most websites have eliminated comments sections. I have chosen to keep mine going, but if they commonly descend into chaos, I’ll have to start closing comments on some articles, or may have to close the comments section entirely. It’s not what I want to do, because I want to offer a forum for people to communicate and dissent with the site. But if it continues, I will have no choice.
January 13, 2022 @ 9:26 am
Jesus H. Christ. If y’all on either side insist on having this stupid culture war, I reckon I can’t stop you, but would y’all mind leaving country music (the thing that we all here profess to love) out of it?!? How miserable must it be, to have allegiance to a fucking POLITICIAN be the defining feature of your identity. How miserable must it be, to be so poisoned in your soul that you first see country music, one of the most beautiful things that America has ever produced, through the lens of POLITICS, one of the ugliest.
How could you see the beauty in anything that way? To hear or see a band for the first time, and instead of subconsciously moving to the groove of a shuffle, or feeling the connection of the lyric or emotion of the steel guitar, the first thing that comes to you is a manifestation of aggrieved political identity, must be one of the worst things that could happen to a person. BUT, instead of being content to wallow in your own soullessness, y’all insist in bringing it with you wherever you go, trying to ruin this wonderful thing for the rest of us. Get the fuck out. Y’all all are worse than useless. Go get a job, actually work to better your life, instead of constantly looking for reasons to feel so goddamned victimized. Its pathetic. Take the time you used to spend commenting, and go learn the fiddle or banjo. You’ll be happier, and America will be better off.
We’ve just had the worst two years to be a musician since World War II, and here y’all are actively trying further destroy country music by insisting on using it as a battleground. If you want to save country music, you shouldn’t be using the livelihoods of those that make it as fuel for your political bonfire. Leave poor Wilmer McLean alone.
January 13, 2022 @ 10:55 am
Who pledged their allegiance to a politician? This is a fairly political article about a politician so politics are bound to show up but nowhere have I seen allegiance to any politician
January 13, 2022 @ 9:26 pm
This dude is creepy….
January 12, 2022 @ 8:04 pm
Alright – Let’s just get right down to it.
Go ahead & say the rest of it.
You aren’t going to cherry pick your politicians.
Every communist & socialist in the government anywhere in the United States, needs to be ousted. NOW.
What i said in the Spring of ’19, still stands.
Cut & paste, cut & paste, ad nauseum
January 12, 2022 @ 9:55 pm
Trigger, you might wanna mention what the good pedophile’s party affiliation is. Really don’t think America’s billions of socialists want to be affiliated with this dude.
January 13, 2022 @ 8:03 am
This is parody, right?
January 12, 2022 @ 8:06 pm
I miss normal life. All this crap is mentally exhausting. Get vaccinated if you want or don’t, but let’s get life back on track and fix the economy and etc.
January 12, 2022 @ 8:32 pm
Jesus, can’t even escape this shit here. I understand that this is your site @trigger , but can we keep things about the tunes.
January 12, 2022 @ 8:46 pm
You must be new here.
January 13, 2022 @ 2:54 pm
Laughing. Love this comment.
Hang in there, Metamodern!
January 12, 2022 @ 8:47 pm
Completely understand and respect this sentiment.
But I believe this has everything to do with the tunes, and specifically the 176 individuals who write them, and are planning to congregate in the panhandle of Florida this weekend to collaborate. That gets 86’d, and there will be downstream repercussions. Festivals like 30A are the lifeblood of independent music. This is my platform to speak up about such matters, and I will use it. If folks don’t want to read it, I completely understand.
January 12, 2022 @ 8:48 pm
Dude! Right!? Trigger pleaded with us not to be political, and I complied. Now, he does articles like this. What do you expect Trig.
January 12, 2022 @ 9:32 pm
I think it’s self-evident that this story has a very significant musical component to it. It’s unfortunate there is a high-profile politician involved in this story as well, but even if it was some no-name local commissioner trying to shut this festival down on certifiably false pretenses, it would still be worth reporting on, and advocating against.
This is MY platform. And it’s called “Saving Country Music.” I can’t think of any topic more important to that mission right now than a festival showcasing 176 songwriters being threatened to get shut down. In fact, I felt obligated to cover it. I think it would be a deriliction of duty if I didn’t. If you don’t want to read about it, I respect that. But don’t read it and move on. It sucks that I have to battle my own readers whining about what I’m writing about when it comes to these issues, when we should all—as a community—should be in full-throated opposition about what’s happening here.
I know Hayes Carll, whose gig this weekend is in jeopardy, feels the same.
January 13, 2022 @ 12:32 am
“…when we should all—as a community—should be in full-throated opposition about what’s happening here.”
Oh, we’re in opposition to what’s happening here.
To the illegal oppression of our people.
NO DOUBT about it.
Have been opposed to ALL of the indoor/outdoor cancellations, since this began.
Haven’t stopped living free for one minute since this all went down. There has always been plenty of live good music out there. You just have to research where it is.
The writer’s, musician’s, damn well need to ball up, show up, & have their festival. No whining.
When i woke up this morning my feet were on American soil.
Years ago, when a cop pulled me over, during that stop he told me i needed to put my 4 month old and his carseat in the middle of the backseat. I leaned over, looked at the pavement, and looked back up at the cop. Informed him that my child would be riding up front with me.
You see – you can tell right away if a child is choking & needs immediate attention, if you can see them.
Choking problems happen daily with babies and young children, worldwide. Find a safe place to pull over, tend to that child. This is at a time we were moving all over the country with the bureau. Didn’t have the luxury of grandparents, in state, to leave the baby with. And, yes, front seat airbag was disengaged during those times.
When my husband was in the car with us, our son would be in his carseat in the middle of the backseat.
Informed the cop he would not be writing me a ticket.
When i woke up that morning, my feet were on American soil.
Isn’t the U.S. Capitol still closed to Americans, and the public?
You bet your ass it is.
You wanna talk & run your mouth? (yes, we know & Respect that you are the benevolent dictator of this site) Fine. Let’s go.
Discussion is good
January 13, 2022 @ 7:15 am
Did the officer give you a ticket? You have me on the edge of my seat here! Honestly you should write a memoire, I remember you wrote something about sending your child alone on an airplane during the days with the bureau, it was really good but I don’t remember what article it was on. Anyway please write a book I will buy it!
January 13, 2022 @ 7:56 am
the unlikelihood of any of di harris’ stories being true is usually pretty high. but this one takes the cake.
January 13, 2022 @ 8:22 am
Trig needs to compile a ‘Best of Di’ comments page.
January 13, 2022 @ 10:53 am
I believe Di. And feel like not too long ago it was fashionable to believe (especially indigenous) women, and perhaps not try and “erase their truth.” But what do I know, I can’t keep it all straight anymore.
January 13, 2022 @ 11:39 am
ah sure. equate rape to a made up story about how she ordered a cop around and was so cool they didn’t give her a ticket. a few days ago, flight attendants threw a party for her on a plane because she is so cool!
indigenous? maybe. disingenuous? absolutely.
January 13, 2022 @ 11:47 am
“Did the officer give you a ticket?”
one of our favorite memories is when we were out of the Tampa office. Our son was 8 months old at the time.
My husband bought a late 60’s Fiat Spider convertible. Wooden dash and steering wheel.
We’d throw the baby’s car seat in the front, get him all buckled and settled in. I’d cram my 5″1″ self in the “backseat”, and we’d head over the causeways to one of the beaches.
OMG – out of this world fun.
We carried a gallon of water with us, at all times, in case the radiator needed a drink.
Can’t tell you how many compliments we got on that car & the HAPPY baby, everytime we went out.
You haven’t lived until you have seen the beautiful Gulf Coast sunsets, with a baby laughing his ass off & his hair flying in the wind.
January 13, 2022 @ 11:51 am
see ^. everyone thinks she is a super cool lady.
Dan Da Hootenanny
January 12, 2022 @ 8:56 pm
As a festival producer, promoter, and booking agent for many bluegrass and americana festivals this sort of story seriously scares me. I agree that Gaetz is putting a bullseye target on the musicians and their fans. This is pathetic. I feel sorry for the fans, musicians and business owners who will be caught up in this mess.Hey Trigger, this is my 2nd post in 24 hours and your web site claims
January 12, 2022 @ 9:01 pm
Yes sorry. The site is getting bombarded with spam comments at the moment, and so the spam filter is being overworked. We’re working on it.
Thanks for chiming in about this issue.
Dan Da Hootenanny
January 12, 2022 @ 9:40 pm
It is sad to see politicians creeping into festivals and ruining the potential revenue generated by these events. As someone who has studied, and paid for, professionals to ascertain the tax revenues generated from these events I can assure you that festivals bring in lots of tax dollars in gas sales and hotel rooms AKA “beds in heads”. Ask any local Convention & Visitors Bureau and they will tell you the same story,
Trigger, thanks for informing me about what I had assumed was the “spam filter” I was in fact also trying to point out that the web site was claiming I was posting to much. In reality, it was my 2nd post in 24 hours on this web site.
January 12, 2022 @ 9:01 pm
Why isn’t this fucking pedo in prison yet?
January 12, 2022 @ 9:17 pm
His favorite song is “My ex-girlfriend testified before a grand jury in a plea deal blues”!
January 13, 2022 @ 11:41 am
This is the only other Steve I’ve seen so if it’s not the Steve who replied to me I apologize. You need to look at the context of both of those situations before lumping them together. The Dixie Chicks went to a foreign country during the middle of a war after the US had been attacked and publicly expressed how much they hated our president and were ashamed to be from Texas. Wallen was acting immature with one of his friends at his private home and was videotaped without knowing. Either way, it comes down to the fans. Like I said before, the entire music industry could banish Wallen, but he’d still have his fans and therefore could still sell out shows and albums. The Dixie Chicks lost the majority of their fans, and never once tried to apologize publicly. Wallen has apologized several times.
January 13, 2022 @ 1:26 pm
You seem to have omitted a lot of context. From reading your comment, one would think that what Maines did was equivalent to Jane Fonda aiding the VC. She was in a country that actually sent troops to Iraq with us and lost some of them and she was there because that happened to be where her tour was scheduled when all of this went down. Her comments were made nine days prior to the official start of the war, so not in the middle of the war. And they were made a year and a half after the 9/11 attacks. As far as I know, she never spoke out against bringing those who ordered and aided those attacks to justice. In fact, they’d have likely been brought to justice sooner had we never invaded Iraq based on faulty intelligence, destabilizing the entire region and leading to a U.S. presence in multiple countries.
As for their apology, what did they have to apologize for? George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are the ones who need to apologize for the American lives lost as a result of their lies. The Dixie Chicks were correct to be suspicious of their motives.
The fact that they achieved a multi platinum album and single with zero country radio support following the controversy also seems to run counter to the idea that they no longer had a sizable audience.
Wallen should never have been on country radio to begin with but I agree that he shouldn’t have been canceled over a speech controversy. But those who removed him from the radio were simply following the rules you set up.
January 13, 2022 @ 2:14 pm
Folks, this is veering way off topic, and into other divisive matters. Let’s please stay on point.
January 12, 2022 @ 9:31 pm
He’s literally the only congressman to vote against a sex trafficking bill. I hate most Democratic politicians, but for a completely different reason than I hate most Republican politicians in this era of government. I wish I could go back to hating each side for just being shameless hypocrites beholden to their party. I can at least understand that.
January 13, 2022 @ 11:54 am
kinda wierd the q crowd isn’t too concerned with an actual pizza gaetz.
January 12, 2022 @ 10:00 pm
sTiCk tO tHe MuSiC. LeT’s NoT gEt PoLiTiCaL gUyS
January 13, 2022 @ 4:52 am
Trig – the whole premise of your article is based on the false claim that Gaetz has asked the festival be shut down – its in the headline! – where in his open letter does he request this? Here is full letter: https://gaetz.house.gov/media/press-releases/congressman-matt-gaetz-issues-letter-florida-governor-ron-desantis-regarding
Also – this is the text of the De Santis EO: “Businesses in Florida are prohibited from requiring patrons or customers to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-transmission recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the business.”
The EO goes on to indicate that businesses, organizations, etc can “screen” but essentially limited to screening all patrons, or none at all. I’d argue the EO could have been worded better to remove the ambiguity. Nonetheless, seems to me like they are in violation of the spirit and intent of the EO section I quoted above.
January 13, 2022 @ 8:20 am
Well first off, the crux of the letter was included in this article. I’m not trying to hide anything. If anything, the full letter underscores what’s happening here, not refutes it. I think the Gaetz letter makes it abundantly clear that he is trying to shut down the festival by pulling its funding through the Walton County Tourist Development Council. This was also the assessment of “Variety” who followed up with the Gaetz office that doubled down on their concerns. At no point in the Gaetz letter does he ask the festival to change their policy. At no point did Gaetz reach out to the festival whatsoever. He reaches out to the governor, requesting that the state remove the funding mechanism for the festival, which ultimately would shut it down.
I’m not saying that some interpretation of the Florida law might question whether an event can ask for vaccine proof at all. And as I have said numerous times, I personally don’t think asking for a vaccine card at this point in any way offers protection to patrons. But let’s see the forest for the trees here. Four days before an event that will include 176 songwriters, probably over 250 total musicians, thousands of patrons, and generate $8 million for the local economy, you’re going to shut it down because they say people can circumvent getting a test by presenting a vax card? Who then are being the big government draconian COVID-era Karens using bureaucracy to get in the way of the free flow of people and commerce?
But if people are okay with this, go ahead. Shut down a fucking songwriter festival and 86 the $8 million it will goose the local economy with, and see how that works out for you. Full speed ahead!
January 13, 2022 @ 8:39 am
The “crux” of the letter is your interpretation of his intent, but the plain language makes no explicit request to shut down a music festival as you suggest. Nor is he explicitly suggesting funding be removed, but he is directly suggesting that the festival is not in compliance with the EO.
Take issue with him not approaching the festival organizers first. Ok so he’s a tattle-tale. But the rest of this is hyperbolic conjecture. Good convo tho… 🙂
January 13, 2022 @ 8:46 am
If Matt Gaetz actually cared about the doings of this festival, he would have reached out to them directly first, like he’s done before looking for comp tickets, and asked them to change their policy. Instead, he drafted an open letter and sent it to the governor. What this is all about is Gaetz feeding red meat to his constituency. As I also said in the article, I’m not even sure if Gaetz actually wants the festival shut down. I think he knows that would be suicide. He just wants to use them as unwitting paws to signal to his donor base his hardline stance on this issue. That’s why he used the “vaccine passport” dog whistle.
January 13, 2022 @ 2:56 pm
Just go to his Twitter, he actively is trying to shut it down there
January 13, 2022 @ 6:25 am
That guy is not an adult.
Senator Ben Sasse (R – NE) on Gaetz.
January 13, 2022 @ 6:38 am
What a dumb dick.
January 13, 2022 @ 6:46 am
So…if you can show proof of vaccination, you can forgo a Covid test…even though you can carry the Kung Flu after being vaccinated? What kind of retard makes up these rules?
January 13, 2022 @ 6:58 am
I asked that question and my comment was removed.
January 13, 2022 @ 7:12 am
A couple things pop into my mind here. Pardon me, im just a dumb construction guy, so if my observations are goofy, its because im not an expert in viral epidemiology or political grandstanding.
CDC definitively said that vaccines do not mitigate the spread in any way. Includes boosters i assume? In laymans terms, i assume that means vaxxed and unvaxxed BOTH are carriers and spreaders. Right? So, if a round of vax and boosters will prevent serious illness, as we are told by the experts, then why am i concerned about an unvaxxed person outside around me? He or she poses no greater risk to me than a fellow vaxxer who also may be spreading. Theoretically then, if a vax card gets you in without a test, is there any guarantee the vaxxed attendees are Covid free? How do we know? Shouldnt they be tested also? So, if the festival is worried about the safety of those attending, why not just make gate testing for all, the rule? No vax passport or card, just take a test on the spot, problem solved.
January 13, 2022 @ 8:00 am
“CDC definitively said that vaccines do not mitigate the spread in any way.”
The CDC never said that. The CDC is advocating all employers with over 100 employees mandate their employees to get full vaccinated. Yes, you can still get and transmit COVID even while fully vaccinated. But the “Vax card or negative test” model is the one that’s been used tens of thousands of times for events, including hundreds in Florida. As I’ve said, the best way would be to require a negative test from everyone. But why single out this event? Why make the effort to publicly shame them and shut down their operation?
January 13, 2022 @ 8:31 am
Trig, the quote from Rochelle Walensky of The CDC says in part ” our vaccines are working exceptionally well…but what they cant do anymore is stop transmission.” She then elaborates in more detail, explaining vaxxed individuals even with no symptoms may spread and carry the virus unknowingly. I understand you get that. So im not really debating you. I think you see my point. Hey, i hope the songwriters get to have the festival. Im in favor of live music. Musicians are making a living and need festivals and promotors to survive. And if folks are worried, dont go. The details we can argue, but we are not terribly far apart in thinking.
January 13, 2022 @ 9:28 am
Trigger, negative tests, especially from 72 hours before, are only somewhat useful (ftr nothing is perfect). Vax and test is the safest. Vax mandates at least protects the hospitals, and slows the spreads. Test only is better then nothing, and helps slow spread, but isn’t enough in and of itself. It just doesn’t have the immediacy. Plus there is only so often people are going to want to test.
January 13, 2022 @ 10:37 am
In the simplest and most basic of explanations, because large numbers of unvaccinated people are what allow mutations and variants to be created. Which makes the pandemic last longer and the vaccine isn’t as effective against new variants.
Now, first off, let me say, there is nothing wrong with being a “construction guy.” We need construction workers the same way we need doctors and lawyers and accountants. I’m sure you work hard at it and work to be good at it and you’ve had training for it. And I thank you for the work you do.
But why are we sending doctors to medical school for four years, putting them through vigorous training, licensing, legal requirements to practice if, when the medical consensus is that vaccination is the best course of action to move towards the end of this pandemic, we are going to dismiss them, and not trust their expert opinion? Should I, as a Human Resources professional, believe that I have the same or higher level of medical expertise as a doctor who has spent 7 presidential administrations as he director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases?
I wouldn’t presume to tell you how to do your job any more than I would presume to be an expert on immunology.
January 13, 2022 @ 1:37 pm
I love how you claim not to be a medical expert yet your first statement is espousing the cause if variants. Maybe you as a “human resource professional” should leave medical statements to the actual “experts”.
January 13, 2022 @ 2:03 pm
ooo snap! this would be one heck of a gotcha moment if that wasn’t what the entire scientific community says is how variants evolve.
January 13, 2022 @ 3:03 pm
Oh look another expert scientific spokesperson! With so many vaccinated people getting and spreading omicron who will blamed for the next variant? I’d start brainstorming now if I were you.
January 13, 2022 @ 9:11 pm
I don’t have to be an expert to understand the basics of science and, as thegentile has already told you, what the entire scientific and medical community is already telling us. Just like I don’t need to be a mathematician to tell you that 2+2=4. And I also don’t need to be a medical professional to tell you that drinking urine is a bad idea, yet that seems to be the current idea from the anti-vax MAGA crowd.
(fully expecting Trigger to block this comment)
January 13, 2022 @ 7:20 am
MF’er looks like Beavis and Butthead mixed together
January 13, 2022 @ 7:29 am
January 13, 2022 @ 8:52 am
Yup. We can’t win. No Covid precautions? The left fires up their pitchforks. Vax only? Here they come from the right. Both might have points, but try and find some compromise, like vax/test or test only? Nope, here come BOTH sides because everyone just wants to fight.
I’m just trying to play tunes as best I can here y’all. Quit using music as a political football.
January 13, 2022 @ 11:10 am
“but try and find some compromise.”
The compromise is to find & go to the live music events that have not ceased, whose venues continue to operate as if they are in the United States of America.
Mark an X (figuratively speaking) on the door of any venue that whips out and operates under the communist/socialist 101 handbook(s).
Plenty of good music out there. Both in the U.S. and Worldwide.
Still laughing. (Not at you, Cackalack)
January 13, 2022 @ 9:06 am
America, where we can rage about politicians we can’t even vote for or against, but can’t tell you the names of our city/village board members.
Rage drives clicks.
D Ray White
January 13, 2022 @ 9:58 am
“….So go about your earthly mission, and don’t trust no politician…”- some Canadian with a politician pops
Gaetz, as is his usual tendency, rolls in poorly informed and commences to grandstanding and performing for his base. In the process he’s hurting folks who just want to make a living, and hurting country music.
Dude is an entitled prick and by most accounts, a terrible human. Let’s not forget he got daddy to get his DUI 86’ed and the cop who cited him reprimanded, and that ain’t allegedly.
January 13, 2022 @ 9:59 am
Wife and I are both vaccinated and both of us are sick and positive for Covid currently. Both of us had multiple negative rapid tests but the send-outs came back positive. Not sure what good testing anybody, vax or no vax or left or right, is at this point to go to a concert. Maybe it’s time to just accept whatever risk your are willing to take and quit blaming either side. It ain’t going away anytime soon. All these new restrictions make no logical sense anymore.
January 13, 2022 @ 10:17 am
“All these new restrictions make no logical sense anymore.”
The problem if anything is that these are old, outmoded restrictions, not new ones. Events and venues have been doing this “vax or negative test” thing for 10 months. It’s the rubber stamp procedure. If Matt Gaetz wanted to reach out to the festival and say, “Hey, why don’t you just require testing, or nothing at all?” and commenced a discussion, that would be one thing. Writing an email to the governor talking about “vaccine passports” to whip his constituents into a frenzy and ask for their funding to be pulled is the definition of intrusive government overreach.
January 13, 2022 @ 10:38 am
I completely agree. Just my own personal experience that these rapid tests are becoming more and more pointless vax or no vax. They are possibly even worse in that may provide a false sense of security for all concertgoers.
Not to get political but as for Gaetz, It’s people like him that keep me on the independent side rather than full right these days.
January 13, 2022 @ 12:32 pm
I’m right-leaning and I don’t like or trust Gaetz. His actions seem to be about virtue signaling. I’m not sure what’s so different about this event being cancelled by a politicians as opposed to a band themselves nixing a show because a crew member was exposed to the virus. Based on how transmissible covid is now, all these preventative measures seem performative.
January 13, 2022 @ 10:25 am
Good God, what a mess.
January 13, 2022 @ 10:27 am
I challenge you to name one thing Matt Gaetz ISN’T wrong about. Pretty much everything he says and does is either illegal, immoral, unlawful, petty, just plain wrong, or even treasonous (or multiple combinations of those options). The man is among the worst this country has to offer.
January 13, 2022 @ 10:46 am
He always looks like he just ripped a fart and took a big whiff to get the flavor
January 13, 2022 @ 12:11 pm
Wow, lots of people here need a chill pill.
Thanks Trig, good to see a report on issues facing music festivals.
To be fair, the test or vax system isnt really practical anymore. I would hate to drive 5 hours to a festival and fail a test because of a false positive or because of the extremely mild omnicron.
Also, I’m vaccinated, but would rather take an anonymous medical check than show papers.
In any case, both people and politicians need to suck it up a bit longer. Trust me, the pathway to full open is via half open. Arguing about whose fault it is only hurts everyone and delays it opening.
Also agree with Hoptown earlier. I think the time for pruning is upon us.
January 13, 2022 @ 12:26 pm
I’m right-leaning and I hate performative politics and I don’t trust Gaetz. How is what Gaetz is doing here any different from a band cancelling a show because a band or crew member was around someone who tested positive? I think both scenarios are virtue signalling. It’s an unfortunate reality that covid is highly transmissible and all these preventative measures all seem performative based on the end results.
January 13, 2022 @ 12:42 pm
SCM statistics so far today – Matt Gaetz, 96 comments – Randy Travis 9 comments. Nuff said.
January 13, 2022 @ 3:45 pm
Funny thing is… I might be wrong, but I don’t believe the political articles necessarily attract more traffic than articles strictly about the music. Trigger would have to confirm that, but I’m pretty sure he’s mentioned it a few times. That being said, the comment sections on political articles always get everyone talking. Its like a warzone lol.
January 13, 2022 @ 3:48 pm
that or just like jason isbell or sturgill simpson could breathe.
January 13, 2022 @ 3:58 pm
No, they don’t, especially not this one. I didn’t even post a link to it on Facebook to hopefully tamp down on the crazies coming to it, and since any Matt Gaetz news was dominated by his ex-girlfriend’s Grand Jury testimony, search engines are no help either. I most certainly didn’t write this article for traffic, or because I knew it would be a fun time in the comments. I wrote it in spite of these things. Sometimes things need to be said, and this is my platform to say them.
January 15, 2022 @ 12:52 pm
First off, let me say I don’t envy your position as moderator on an article like this Trig, and I want to thank you for enduring that task to write about issues such as this when they relate to music. Just something to remember today, though: I can say for certain you have brought artists to my attention that I absolutely adore (Karen Jonas, Steel Blossoms, and so many more) and am so glad for this website’s existence.
This is why culture warring and having such a political divide is an issue, because ultimately the lack of conversation with people outside of your worldview keeps the 2 sides driving in opposite and wrong directions, when they should be communicating and consulting the map (apolitical experts, who while imperfect and flawed as all humans are, don’t have the same incentives to steer discourse in such ways as we’ve seen over the past several years) and figuring out the route that makes the most sense.
It’s most shameful when this affects small businesses, independent artists, and the rest of the population who make up the lifeblood of this country.
Lastly, i’d just like to say that while I understand the escapist proclivities of “shut up and sing/play/write about music”, most of life is inherently political, and expecting these issues not to pop up, especially when members of congress take an opportunity to pull a cheap PR stunt like this is kind of unrealistic.
January 15, 2022 @ 1:15 pm
Good one Kenny,
Now talk about the last 2 years of oppression on businesses & people’s lives.
Gaetz is very late to the party.
Go ahead, we’ll wait …
January 15, 2022 @ 1:23 pm
“… escapist proclivities of “shut up and sing/play/write about music”, …”
WILL give you a 1.5/10 on the typical distractor comment/b.s.
What have you been doing, while millions of us around the globe have been going to & enjoying local/regional/national music events?
Supporting musicians, AND small businesses where we can.