Farm Funk Follow-Up
By Marcus Pan
While I didnt get to
sit down with everyone, I was able to get a few of those involved with the Farm
Funk Festival to take a seat and rant a bit. In that ensuing crowd, I have
received numerous comments about Michael Jones of Better Mousetrap Productions,
the organizer for this event that fell through. As of the time of this writing,
however, I still havent found a chance to sit down with Jones and discuss
any of the events or let him give me his side of the story as he has been quite
busy with preparing his upcoming Water Festival in New Brunswick, NJ. This
article is not intended to smear Jones, nor is it intended to highlight the
others involved. This article is the discussions Ive had with various
parties, and if those parties want to speak out against Jones, Better
Mousetrap, GI-Joe or Kingdom Come, it is their choice to do so. I am only
recording this information.
My first meeting was with Craig Sansig of
Population VI, conducted at a local diner where I gorged myself on hamburgers
and mozzarella sticks. Pop. VI was responsible for on-site set-up of the event
grounds, preparing stages, security issues and a slew of other things related
to grounds and population control. Sansig was there with me that fateful
Friday, indeed he was one of those helping with stage-building. It is his
honest opinion that, we were ready for the event to happen. I think
he would have handled everything just fine, from what Ive seen of his
competency and abilities.
Sansig was unable to say much, as he is consulting with
legal counsel about the event and its repercussions. His lawyer pretty much
gave him a gag rule, so that there arent any further
ramifications on his pending case. The details of the case werent
discussed either. I care not for courts
I care for people. However, Sansig
did say on behalf of Population VI and Jump For Joy, I would like to
apologize about the festival. That was the most I could get out of him.
He did throw a bit of foreshadowing our way by mentioning that, This is
not my last event.
At the same meeting where I met with Sansig, he
brought along Jason Lakata of the band Wishbone. These guys of Wishbone were
the ones that started the entire Farm Funk Festival idea two or three years
ago. So it seemed only natural that I speak with Lakata on some things
concerning the event. He was there that Friday morning as well, though he
wasnt able to help as much as he liked because of a recent back injury.
He spent much of the time speaking out against Better Mousetrap; rather
vehemently I might add. And he had brought along ammunition; Legends No. 68, in
which was the original To Build a Better Mousetrap article that
stemmed from the interview I held with Michael Jones before the event took
Lakata was there all the years of Farm Funk. After all,
Wishbone was not only on the bill for all the events, they were organizers of
the events. Lakata pointed out a lot of instances wrong in what Jones told me
at the aforementioned interview. Some he pointed out may have been
miscommunicated, others he believes were lies. Either way, Lakata says that
Jones Hyped up previous involvement with Farm Funk Festival
96. He claims that Jones statement that Burgundy and
the Mother Sound not playing was incorrect. Burgundy played, says Lakata,
and the Mother Sound did not. They were separate bands, though this could have
been a miscommunication on my part during the interview. In addition, he told
me that Jones did not pull people from the audience to keep the entertainment
going as the 96 event was far from being out of entertainment. He is also
rather upset by Jones portraying of the word Funk in the
title of the event being associated with dirt, mud, etc. Says
Lakata, He was not there for the founding and had no idea about the name.
The funk in the name was to mean have a funky
time. To sum up his feelings for Jones and Better Mousetrap, Lakata
stated: He is definitely a teacher (referring to the point in the past
interview where Jones stated that he doesnt consider himself a promoter,
but a teacher). He taught us all a lesson. Im tired of his badmouthing
and slandering and want to expose him. Doing business with Michael Jones can
Jump For Joy
Heading up the Kontest 97 series was
Steve Wisbeski of Jump For Joy. Wisbeskis original job at the festival
was to put together his BMX contest course and handle his riding side of the
event. However, he eventually found himself with the tasks of helping to erect
stages, being on the site Friday morning to direct set up activities and even
erected the half-pipe for Earth Core who wanted everything handed to them and
their riders on a silver platter so to speak. How he got this involved seems to
have simply been a matter of initiative, as Wisbeski is a strong personality
and was able to handle everything going on that Friday morning. Then, as you
can tell, Steve was the one hit the hardest with investments in the event.
My meeting with Wisbeski was actually a phone call over
which he told me virtually the same thing that Sansig did; he could not speak
as much as he liked pursuant to his legal counsel (who happens to be the same
lawyer dealing with Population VI). However, I was able to gather that the
Kontest 97 series as well as Jump For Joy will continue unhindered.
Wisbeski himself recently won a freestyle contest in Hackensack NJ just this
past week. Expect to hear from him later, as I will be covering some upcoming
Jump For Joy events and sitting down with him to discuss his Kontest 97
brainchild. I have plans in the near future of getting together with him and a
few of his better local riders at a closed practice course for an interview.
Ill even bring a camera to capture some memorable jumps.
Mean Little Man Productions
Chris Eissing wasnt
able to say much other than the fact that theres going to be more news
coming. Hes been talking with the same lawyer currently dealing with the
cases of Population VI and Jump For Joy. It is obvious from his web site
(http://www.zenweb.com/mlm) that he aint happy right now, but
thats all I was able to get out of him. Although he has made a joke of
his media efforts, claiming he performed his duties too well.
Hes ready to do something similar again as much as the rest of the guys,
though, only this time without Michael Jones. He has stated that he
publically severs all ties, both personal and professional with
Better Mousetrap and is no longer a member of Octave Unity.