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Thanks to City Paper for its coverage of BiMA.fest last week (“David Andler,” Music, Aug. 25; The Short List, Aug. 25), and thanks to all the people that attended the events and seminars this weekend, as well as sent e-mails of encouragement about your experience of the events. It wasn’t perfect, but I’m really happy with the way things went overall, and grateful for the shows of support I’ve been getting from the nearly 150 bands/artists that played; from the photographers, videographers, and journalists that came out each night; and from the fans.

Nothing was perfect, of course—four performing artists had to cancel, a few of the 30 individual events had smaller crowds than would have been ideal, and some of the venues didn’t get their All Access passes or will-call lists on time–but attendance at most of the events was great and people really stepped up to resolve the various schedule and technical issues that cropped up during the weekend. I managed to personally drop in on about 15 of the events, and it was a great feeling to walk in and see everyone working together.

When Michael Byrne asked me in our interview whether Baltimore had “a big enough fan base to make something this big work,” I wasn’t confident in my answer, and said I wasn’t sure whether Baltimore was a big enough music city to sustain a large-scale annual music festival. I think Michael and a lot of other people may have had their doubts too. But after how well things went this weekend, I want to revise my answer—we can and we will.

For anyone out there with feedback on how things could be even better for BiMA.fest 2011, please let me know via e-mail to, or go to and follow the links to a survey on what you’d like us to change. We’ll be happy to hear from you.

See you next year!

David Andler

Co-founder, BiMA.fest


It’s Not the Republicans’ Fault

It’s hard for me to see, as Larnell Custis Butler and David Eberhardt apparently do, that the Democratic Party will rescue the American republic (“Larnell Is Right On,” The Mail, Sept. 1; “Republican White Devils,” The Mail, Aug. 25). I adhere to the belief that this country has one party (oligarchs), with two business party subdivisions competing for wealth. Both Democratic and Republican administrations have created the worst economic setback since the Great Depression. The basic fundamental issues not addressed are the end of American militarism, continued unregulated corporate authority over vast wealth, and income inequality geared toward the benefit of the wealthy. Changes such as eliminating the Electoral College would open the playing field and not ensure a one-party system (I mean two-party system) from selecting a president. For me, a democracy should demonstrate economic justice for all its citizens and not be beholden to the arrogance of the rich. One example of the current administration’s policy was following the Bush strategy (with the same financial consultants) of a failed bank bail-out scheme that had little effect in job creation. This country needs a more multiparty system on a national level to offer Americans a participatory role in governing themselves.

Philip Pecoraro

After reading Larnell Custis Butler’s racial rant in your Aug. 25 issue, I have personally donated money to enroll Ms. Butler in a diversity class. If it were not for the hardworking middle-class Republicans, there would be no money for the liberal Democratic administration to squander and steal.

Curtis Kidwell

Corrections: Last week’s coverage of the film Animal Kingdom and its director David Michô d (Film, Sept. 1) incorrectly identified the character Smurf as the aunt of the character J. In fact, Smurf is J’s grandmother.

And Christopher Myers did not receive a photo credit in the print edition for his lovely shot of Secret Mountains in our Aug. 18 issue (“Something Joyful,” Music). Sorry about that, Chris.


Editor’s note: Next week: our Big Books Issue.

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