The Mateel Community Center would like to thank everyone who helped make Reggae On The River’s French’s Camp homecoming such a resounding success. Bringing together reggae fans and artists from the far corners of the earth to share our local culture in a celebration of global community, Reggae On The River offers a transformative experience. It was a long, hard road to bring the show home to French’s Camp, but the magic of this venue is undeniable and, based on the overwhelming feedback we’ve been receiving, the festival’s good vibes were truly felt the world over.
Operating under our unofficial festival motto, “Back To The Future” (thanks Peter!), we sought to build upon the grand foundation that was laid down by the fore-bearers of Reggae On The River. Scaling back on size and returning to more of a roots vibe, we worked hard to both revive working systems and retool aspects of the show’s production in a way that we felt both honored our past and set the stage for our future - with the Mateel Community Center beating at the heart.
Of course the endeavor was not without its difficulties. Though years of feasibility studies, contract negotiations, community scoping sessions, and permit/agency work went into the planning of ROTR 2013, nothing could truly prepare us for the scale of the task we took on with this project. It’s one of those things you have to experience from the inside to fully understand, and we are presently compiling volumes of wrap up notes, chock full of the myriad improvements we need to make.
Though there is so much more that could be said about the event, this is a thank you letter and, as such, the first thank you I’d like to issue is to the Mateel board of directors for having the trust, confidence, and vision to make this investment and embark on the journey home to French’s Camp. Equal thanks also go out to the Arthur family for again offering the Mateel their property with the same trust, confidence, and vision exhibited by Jack Arthur so many years ago. Reggae On The River’s homecoming truly couldn’t have happened without you.
Next we’d like to thank all of our Cook’s Valley neighbors. We truly appreciate your patience in working with us and for allowing us into your community to host this important fundraiser. Community, after all, is what it is all about and your support of ROTR not only helps fund MCC’s many varied programs but also enables countless community organizations and businesses to prosper. Thanks also to the many nonprofit participants who joined in and took the risk to be with us for this first year back. We look forward to working even closer with all of you next year to improve problem areas and to maximize fundraising opportunities while we expand the circle of community support.
Big ups, of course, to our sponsors. Your deep commitment to ROTR is at the core of the event’s success and offers the foundational support necessary to keep Reggae On The River strong. Massive thanks to Aurora Innovations/Roots Organics, Humboldt Nutrients/A Fertile World, Tahoe Wellness Collective, Pierson Building Center, Dazey’s Supply, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Galaxy Glass, North Coast Mercantile, Greenwired Renewable Energy Solutions, Ital Hempwick, The Security Store, Kathleen Bryson Attorney, Satori Movement, Del Reka Distributors, New Harris General Store, Chautauqua Natural Foods, Wildberries Marketplace, Trim Scene Solutions, Sensational Solutions, Purity Organic, Ninkasi Beer, Mendocino Brewing Company, Eel River Brewing Company, Capitola Healing Association, Big Up Radio, Reggae Festival Guide, Mystic Lion Art, KHUM, and, of course, KMUD, who deserves an additional shout out for both their live broadcast and incredible work in the ROTR press tent. Thanks again to all these sponsors and to all our local media for helping get the word out.
Our vendors also deserve major kudos, as do the many artists who came from near and far to share their music and cultures with us. We are truly blessed to have shared the experience with so many creative folks.
Never-ending thanks also goes to the army of volunteers it takes to pull off an event of this magnitude. Your volunteerism and energy is what propelled the event forward, while our dedicated team of festival coordinators and emergency services providers did their part to keep things on track (and safe). Though we shared in some hard moments, ultimately, we did it. And it was teamwork that pulled us through. Thanks also to the Mateel hall and office staff and everyone who participated, consulted, and guided efforts over the past year via the Reggae Management Team.
Though I was planning to avoid specific crewmember thank-yous (since this can get you into trouble - especially when so many people proved themselves to be rock stars), our site manager, John Jennings, truly kicked butt - in a good way. He was overlooked in our post event thank you and staff send-off from the ROTR stage on Sunday night, and he deserves to be recognized for putting more thought and time into the concert site than anyone else. The thorough job he did with no previous experience on this site was truly remarkable.
Another big thanks goes out to Mateel board president, Doug Green. His knowledge and understanding of the county permit system were a guiding force in returning the show home to French’s Camp and he deserves to be recognized for his role in instilling confidence in our production team and helping truly bring Reggae On The River full circle. The strength and courage he showed in continuing with his MCC/ROTR commitments despite his ongoing battle with cancer has truly been an inspiration. Thank you for representing Mateel, and for joining us in the French’s Camp experience.
And lastly, but most of all, thank you to the fans. It is your support and dedication that enabled Reggae On The River to survive all these years and, ultimately, it is you that helped bring us home. Thank you. Thank you. A million times thank you.
May we all meet again on the River in 2014.
Mateel Community Center