CITYVIEW - AUGUST 12, 1998
I am writing in response to the story "Bob's Name in Vain"
(July 29), but first I would like to extend my most sincere appreciation to your readers
who braved the weather to come out to support this year's Bob Marley Festival.
Especially the dozens of people who showed up early and waited patiently until the rain
As for the story, I spoke to many people about your article and they all laughed, saying, "Consider the source." But for your readers who don't know Dave Grimm personally, I would like to introduce him and respond to the accusations.
Dave Grimm was an enthusiastic volunteer the first year the festival came to Des Moines. Mr. Grimm was very helpful. Apparently, he didn't have a job at the time and had a lot of time to help with the festival. He was so helpful that we paid him for his assistance.
The second year, Mr. Grimm was helpful again but continually bad-mouthed other people involved in the festival. He told me if Connie Derry continued to be involved, the next year he would not be. I thanked him for all his help, wished him well on his future endeavors and again gave him some money.
Dave Grimm was never in the inner circle of the festival, never knew what our revenues were and never knew what we paid out in expenses. Any figures quoted by Mr. Grimm in this story are made up in his head. The festival is not run entirely on free labor, and I wish Mr. Grimm would tell me where we could get some of those cut-rate prices he spoke of.
As far as Ms. Wilson's participation in the story, it is apparent she believed Mr. Grimm's tale. For every disgruntled band or vendor Mr Grimm supplied, I could have supplied you with 10 names of bands or vendors who are anxious to participate every year. It's a shame she never asked me for them. Apparently, she was afraid that would have taken the edge off her story.
Ms. Derry and I are very proud of the festival voted "Best Festival of the Year" by Cityview readers last year. As long as the people of Des Moines enjoy the festival and continue to support it, we will work hard to bring it to them.
Hopefully, some day we'll make the kind of money Dave Grimm thinks we do.
Editor's note: The
story's main intent was to let our readers and especially the volunteers know the Bob
Marley Festival is a for-profit venture. And while Mr. Grimm's speculation about the
festival's profits may trouble organizers, neither Mr. Costigan nor Ms. Derry have been
forthcoming with figures.
Also, the Bob Marley Festival did not win in any categories of our Best of Des Moines readers' poll in 1997 or 1998.
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