In regard to Joseph Byrd's view in the NCJ regarding local festivals, I would like to say several things ("Regarding Local Festivals," April 9). First, Mr. Byrd, the people that put together the festivals are not "lazy" (a word you used) and the two festivals are not "egregious" examples of groups celebrating a community. The community has enjoyed these "egregious" examples for 19 years and a great amount of energy, work, sweat and tears go into them.
How dare you sit back and compare a wine and cheese festival to a live music festival! Jackson County, Ore. (Medford) has a Jazz Jubilee every year also and bands come from all over the country. That's the purpose, and most of the musicians and bands are professionals, unlike what you said. You degreded the talent that these musicians have. Also, the purpose is to reach to our youth and have them perform also. What's more community than that?
And by the way, in case you haven't noticed, Eureka and Humboldt County have many other events that celebrate the community, like Arts Alive, the Kinetic Sculpture Race, Fourth of July Festival and the county and Redwood Acres fairs, to name a few.
If you used this year's fair as your ultimate judgment, it's not quite fair, because some of the more high-profile bands weren't able to be here this year. The economy and money isn't there. You used the word "pitiful" for the festival's donations to the community. In years past more was given, I'm sure.
It's always transplants like you who are so quick to judge our community and shout it out in the news. I say, if you don't like it, move out! Go where you can hear your kind of jazz or whatever else suits your better-than-thou fancy.
Marcia Jensen, Eureka
Joseph Byrd's article on the Redwood Coast Jazz Festival was so wrong on so many levels that I don't know where to begin. As I am a musician and a volunteer band driver for the festival, I guess what really ticked me off was his description of the bands as "mostly amateur ... part-time ...over-the-hill."
Wrong. Wrong. So wrong. The bands that perform here for our festival play all over the country and internationally as well, and they are very good at what they do. Some of these bands have been coming here every year for eight to 10 years, which is probably longer than Byrd has been living here.
We have many local festivals: the Rhody Parade, the Oyster Festival, the Trinidad Fish Feed, North Country Fair, Wine in the Park, etc. etc. The Redwood Coast Jazz Festival has contributed much to local music programs, over $60.000, and there is nothing wrong with that. This past weekends fest. showcased some really great bands, talented musicians, a diverse lineup of trad. jazz, latin, swing, jump r&b, zydeco, and it was "real" and not "fake". Ask anyone who was there.
Doug Felden. Eureka