All press isn’t necessarily good, as the organizer of a small music festival now knows.
Over the weekend, Bureau of Land Management officials told the man organizing the Eagleview Music Festival that his plans for a two-day bluegrass “pickers party” didn’t fit with the agreement he made with the state when he reserved the Eagleview Campground 11 miles west of Sutherlin.
The agency told Joe Ross, local musician and event promoter, to stop publicizing the festival.
Ross had billed the event as a budding music festival in press materials, which publicized seven bands, a mandolin clinic, potluck meals and a $20 “suggested donation” to attend.
BLM Swiftwater Field Manager Max Yager said he was surprised when he saw the festival listed in The News-Review’s Arts and Entertainment section Aug. 29, and he emailed Ross threatening to revoke the privilege of using the campground.
Tuesday morning Ross emailed The News-Review to ask that every reference to the festival be removed.
“It was improper to promote this as a public event,” he said.
Yager said that Ross should have gotten a special-use permit instead of merely reserving the space online. It would have cost him only staff time, he said, but it would have protected the state from a number of liability issues.
Six months ago, Ross secured the entire campsite online, in the process agreeing to obey the BLM’s terms and conditions, including limiting attendance to 100 people and not charging admission.
“The problem was Joe did not do what he agreed to do, and we brought that to his attention,” Yager said.
The river-adjacent Eagleview camping area features 10 large campsites, a pavilion, fire ring and picnic area, and is popular with wedding parties and Boy Scouts.
Ross said he will keep an eye on attendance this weekend, and will also ensure that all dogs are leashed and all other BLM conditions are followed.
He and his friends have met in late summer at Eagleview for five years. Based on response so far, he was only expecting about 50 people, many musicians, to attend this weekend.
He says he’s done promoting the event, but plans to have a good time regardless.
“The less we say about this whole thing, the better,” he said.
• You can reach reporter Garrett Andrews at 541-957-4218 or by email at email@example.com.