[OutVoice] Statement from Freddy Freeman on Behalf of Roy'sHideaway concering the Indiegrrl festival

Len Rogers SWS len at stonewallsociety.com
Fri Oct 9 15:33:57 EDT 2009

Hi all,
    First of all I am happy to see OutVoice utilized to address this situation. Freddy is correct this is making news in many places. The conflicting information is of concern on all sides. And the information gets even more conflicting if you follow the releases I have received. It is of the utmost importance in my opinion to get to the facts. This will benefit all. As a few releases I have been sent offer different versions, firm information I think would be assistive would be;
Were there prior problems or negative issues experienced by the campground with locals at prior events as stated in one press release? 
If there were issues as described above, did the campground share that information with the organizer? Did the organizer ask for this information prior to booking?
How were those issues resolved if such issues happened? 
Were necessary permit applications filed for the event on time and with necessary fees and or information? 
Is the campground involved in the placing of permit requests or does the event organizer do this directly? 
Does the campground provide information on needed permits for such events to organizers? 
Are there any photographs of any of the harassment which has been described? In this day of cell phone news pics, just asking?
Can the Sheriff's pledge to work with the campground in the future be substantiated by an outside source? As well as the seeming welcome attitude by Sheriff?
What investigating or checking did event organizers do outside of the campground with regard to local reaction and event security? 
Are there any attendees who can or will offer more information on their experience at the event?
    If I receive any answers to these questions they will either be posted here as well by the sender or I will post information as available and received at www.outvoice.net with announcements here. I am however holding posting at OutVoice till I see if there is any response to the questions. This could have negative impact not jut on the campground but future GLBT events as well. So lets get the answers and fix this while "we" still can. Safety and security at GLBT events is the responsibility of organizers and hosts. So lets do what we can to clarify and learn. 

StoneWall Society

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  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Freddy Freeman 
  To: outvoice at outvoice.net 
  Sent: Friday, October 09, 2009 3:05 PM
  Subject: [OutVoice] Statement from Freddy Freeman on Behalf of Roy'sHideaway concering the Indiegrrl festival

  Dear Outvoicers;


  There has been a lot of stuff going around about the recent events
  concerning Indiegrrl and Roy's Hideaway. As the new Events Director , I am
  releasing a statement on Roy's behalf. I was not at the event, but based
  upon my experiences there and the testimony of Roy, and a number of guests,
  I do not believe events occurred as alleged and do not believe anyone's
  safety was at risk.  I do however want to make it clear to Outvoice that we
  do support the mission of Indiegrrl and are committed to providing a safe
  environment for all of our community, and opportunities for all of its
  performing artists. 


  My Statement Below:


  We are so sorry that Vicki Blankenship has had a negative experience in
  Tattnall County while holding an event at our facility; however the actual
  details of what occurred are unclear, and there have been conflicting
  accounts. Our main concern has always been to make sure that all of our
  guests feel safe, secure and respected. We have and will continue to work
  with local authorities to ensure our guests' continued safety.   

  We are aware that there was some confusion over permits and noise levels,
  but the engineer was asked to lower the volume numerous times, but did not
  comply with the requests. The event was not fully shut down, as performances
  continued poolside. Many of the women who attended have expressed how much
  they enjoyed themselves despite not being able to have amplified music. 

  Mr. McLeroy and other guests did not witness or experience the alleged
  harassment, but of course the safety of our guests is of utmost concern. Roy
  has met with Tattnall County Sheriff Quinton Rush, who has once again
  pledged his support, and also guaranteed permits for future events and even
  offered to post two deputies, if requested, at our larger events to ensure
  everyone's safety. Mr. McLeroy has spent considerable time developing
  relationships with the community and has the full support of the Sherriff's
  Office, Magistrates, Chamber of Commerce and other local organizations, who
  have all once again pledged their support of Roy's Hideaway.

  I have held events at Roy's Hideaway and spent considerable time there
  getting to know Roy and his family, and I have also been into the community
  with Roy. I have never experienced anything but support and friendliness
  from anyone I have encountered. I held a very successful gay men's music
  event with a number of musical acts there in August and we all had such a
  great time and never once felt threatened in any way. My friend (openly gay)
  singer-songwriter Charles K. Brown was even invited to play at the local
  Wiregrass Festival in Reidsville and had a wonderful time and was well
  received by the crowd. A local straight owned restaurant has also opened its
  doors during off hours to accommodate parties from Roy's Hideaway. 

  The impression left on me by Roy and his establishment is so great that I am
  moving there to join his family and work on creating unique events and
  programs for the Campground. I have been involved in the LGBT music
  community for 8 years, doing conferences, festivals and other community
  activism. I am uprooting my whole life to be a part of his team, because I
  feel like it is a great place to build something positive for our community.

  We are interested in what we can create for our community. I am looking
  forward to the opportunities a place like Roy's Hideaway can give to LGBT
  people in South Georgia. In our experience, we are establishing a great
  relationship with the surrounding community. Local officials have expressed
  their desire to continue to work with us and show their support, so I think
  we should all try to turn this into a positive thing for our community.
  Please join us in creating positive change for all of us by working with the
  County and supporting Roy's Hideaway. LGBT people of Georgia will be better
  off if we accept the County's offer of continued support and create new
  allies instead of enemies. Roy has worked hard to create something positive
  for all of us and I don't want to see it fail because of a misunderstanding,
  especially when community leaders are so eager to fix the perceived
  problems. Wouldn't it be nice to read articles about how local officials are
  supporting an LGBT campground and helping to combat homophobia and any other
  form of discrimination? If anyone has any questions about the campground,
  the surrounding community or anything else, please feel free to contact us,
  or visit our website at  www.royshideaway.com 

  Freddy Freeman 
  Events and Promotions Director 
  Roy's Hideaway Campground 
  615 557 2392 
  acousticub at gmail.com


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