Put together shows for an annual event for Veterans for the last few years. This year was my 5th year of doing this, and the organization's 10th anniversary, so we were told to think big.
I did, but had asked for volunteer support from the board right after last year's event, and was promised additional shifts be available for volunteers.
About a month before this year's event I see that the promised shifts were not on the volunteer application. Asked about it, and was told "we'll just wait until next year", then reminded them of thier promise.
Two weeks to go until the event, and instead of making good on their promise, they start to create new strange out-of-the-blue rules that throw even more roadblocks in my way, even though the schedule was set 3 months prior, and attack me with things that happened last year that had nothing at all to do with my department. Then the knife came with the exact direct quote: "Entertainment is not important." My desire to continue was shot down with that one comment. My heart was no longer in it.
So, I chopped the heck out of the schedule (leaving the live shows out of respect to my fellow entertainers) and services and called them out on those attacks, insuts, and lack of support.
Then send a message explaining that all they would've had to do is make good on their promises, but instead they chose to attack.
Board member calls me the following weekend and wants me to apologize for my calling them out, where I said no way. The shooter doesn't expect the person they shot to do the apologizing. The board president resigns that same day, and the announcement timestamp had the person resigning while we (the board member who called me) were still talking on the phone.
The day after that, I wiped out the FB page for the department, contacted all of the acts and cancelled them all (told them why and received support by every last one of them), by the following Monday all was done. That Wednesday I sent an email to all departments & board members blasting them for their attacks plus, and for not apologizing, told them all entertainment was cancelled and that I'm walking away from it all. I was harsh, but didn't cuss at them until the last line where I said, "Life is too short to have to deal with bullies and assholes, especially for free."
I was very comfortable with my decision.
After that I get an email from them trying to relieve me of the position, but they were too late, I was already gone. They wanted me to turn over the acts to them and said they would honor the agreements. Ain't gonna happen, my contacts are mine, the gear is mine, and the one who wanted to contact them is the one who said entertainment isn't important, and some of the agreements were with myself and my associates.
The event happened the first weekend of Oct.
Reports back to me from friends who went were that they were telling lies and badmouthing me instead of just telling them that I wasn't available this year, that the whole event was a big boring flop, then later I hear that the board had to do the cleanup because the crew they paid for never showed up. All kinds of negative reviews of the event that was supposed to be the biggest and best one yet. Karma!
The day after the event their website was wiped out of existence.
I hear rumors of corruption, fraud, kickbacks, and skimming from the donated funds.
The ringleader came in representing UPS, so I and my associates are boycotting UPS, and have told all of our gear suppliers to make a note on our accounts to never use UPS. One rep from a very large entertainment gear supplier (shipping tens of thousands of dollars worth of gear out every day around North America), kept asking questions and got the whole story, and gave me the support of their company.
They ticked off and alienated a lot of people including service providers & vendors, gov't agencies, Veterans, entertainers, and even ripped on one person who the rest of us consider the most important person who holds the event together every year (she walked, too, has the organization's history in her possession, and put that history through the shredders
So here's what they lost when I walked: 12 entertainment groups and 13 live shows, an open session for the Veterans themselves to get up on stage, a movie theater (complete with popcorn & refreshments) running throughout the day, evening "Veteran's choice" movies after the dinner entertainment is done, early morning cartoons at breakfast, a late evening laser, light, & space music video show, professional sound and lighting support for all of the live shows, video gear for the evening movies and shows and the videos themselves for both the evening movies and the theater, available sound system for their announcements and raffles, video recordings off all of the shows at the event that are used to show success of the event, live video webcasting of some of the shows, all of the people that I had recruited to help me (they were not assigned volunteers, but would've helped direct the volunteers and help run all of the gear), support of the local entertainment community, support from a lot of Veterans, support from a lot of local businesses who donate to them every year, and of course my skills and connections.
They had no one else who knows how to put on an event full of shows. First year I did it, I was a last-minute recruit, and put it together in 10 days, so after that they kept asking me to return every year. Over the 5 years I kept learning what worked and what to change, and really had it down for this year. But, oh well, hehe!
So, that weekend, I slept in, relaxed, took a look at my brand new trailer and thought I'd work on the inside of it, but then said, "Nah, I don't have to do anything this weekend."
Now I can put all that time, money and effort into my own music