Clarksville Pride cancels 2007 festival

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The executive board of Clarksville Pride has unanimously agreed to cancel this year’s pride festival, among other schedule activities. Chairman David Shelton made the announcement this past weekend following an emergency meeting.

The meeting was prompted after the two-year-old organization received an e-mail from Outright Speakers and Talent Bureau threatening a “mechanics lien” on the organization if they did not receive payment. In that e-mail, Craig Dean, the president of Outright, explained a mechanics lien succinctly enough: “this will mean your June event will not go on unless I receive my payment on the contract your group signed with me.”

Outright Speakers and Talent Bureau is a talent agency that coordinates speaking or performance engagements for its roster of gay-identified clients, including the playwrite/actor Harvey Fierstein, author/commentator Keith Boykin, and numerous stars from the MTV show The Real World. Last year, it presented writer/activist Michelangelo Signorile and country performer Jeff Miller to the Clarksville festival.

“We currently owe around $5,700 to various people and companies,” Shelton wrote in the announcement. “The unfortunate reality is that we just cannot pay this debt in our current situation.”

In addition to the festival, Shelton announced the cancellation of the Rainbow Ball and a postponement of the Drag Pageant. The message also promised that Clarksville Pride would not fold and included information regarding membership and its fees.

Look to O&AN for more details as this story unfolds.