Zondag 15 juni jl. ontvingen wij bericht van de SJR Media Group uit Denver dat The International Rocky Mountain Funk Out, het festival waar Seven Eleven het eerste weekend van juli 2014 zou gaan optreden, tot nader order wordt uitgesteld.
Grootste obstakel voor de organisatie van het evenement bleek de aanvraag van de werkvergunningen voor de buitenlandse acts. Dat proces nam teveel tijd in beslag waardoor de internationale line-up van het festival op losse schroeven kwam te staan.
In onderstaand persbericht geeft initiatiefnemer Skip ‘the Funktologist’ Reeves tekst en uitleg hoe lastig het is om een Euopese funkband te laten optreden op een Amerikaans funkfestival:
“As many of you know, it has been a longtime desire of mine to put on a festival of this kind, to bring together an international community of funk music lovers! Mainstream media and especially radio has all but forgotten this genre of music, although it is an American Art Form, that has spread out all over the globe. The preparations for this event have been extensive. We have been able to gather the support of many networks from America and abroad that include radio networks, print and online magazines, record labels, newsletters, email blasts, independent websites, and forms of media. With a degree of disappointment and after much discussion and meetings with the key partners, I regret to inform all that we are going to have to postpone and reschedule this event.
The biggest issue and obstacle has been getting approval from Homeland Security to process the applications for the overseas bands! I made several phone calls 4-5 months ago inquiring about how long the process would take. I was told to contact our local immigration office. After another phone call to the local office and setting up a meeting online (which is the process we have to follow) I was told the approval process should take about two weeks. The application is very extensive, I had to download a 33 page application of which I did not understand how to fully complete it. This is the first time I have needed to get involved in such a process. I again set up another meeting to get help to accurately fill out the application. Once again I was told the process would only take two weeks. We got it filled out properly over two months ago. In the meantime I am in regular contact with the bands from out of America as they too have done extensive research with the American Consulates in their countries. We have been waiting for word from Homeland Security to give us the final documents of approval as we have needed to purchase airfare for all artists needing to come to Denver.
SJR Media Group, which is the primary company handling responsibility for overseeing this event, just recently received from Homeland Security more questions and many more documents they need to complete the approval process. By the time we get this information to them and get approval we will not be able to put this event on in time. So we have decided to postpone it. A tremendous amount of promotion has been reached with the help and support of so many networks around the globe. To date, over 20 countries and 40 states have looked at the funk out website. Emails and phone calls are still coming in asking us to go through with the event in July, but its not not practical at this point to do so.
There is no international funk out without international representation! Enough interest has been generated that even other cities are being considered to host an International Funk Out in the future! We will get with all artists involved and see what we can work out for rescheduling. Thank you all for such interest, support, and participation in this first time event that we will eventually make happen!!!”