KOTO is Community Radio at its Purest. The phrase “KOTO community” used to refer to our local community. Now with the Internet broadcast of the KOTO signal, the KOTO community now spans the globe. The decision to not broadcast The Ride festival did a huge disservice to the KOTO community.
For those that live and work in Telluride, many ticketholders had to miss out on parts of what was a weekend full of terrific music. To have an opportunity to hear what you’re missing during those times when you cannot physically be in Town Park is amazing. For our far-flung community members, being able to hear the festival broadcast from coast to coast and beyond is even better. Some might argue that listening to the festival from afar might compel music lovers to attend the festival in person next year.
I know there are many excuses as to why the decision was made.
- Not getting authorizations from talent
- Not having a production team that was ready to do the broadcast
- A perceived negative impact on ticket sales
None of these excuses hold up under closer inspection. The process to get this production on the air should have been initiated well in advance, which would have avoided the cancellation of the live broadcast.
Somebody dropped the ball, and, unfortunately, I believe that the buck stops at the Executive Director’s desk. There can be no excuses for something as egregious as our radio station not broadcasting its own music festival.
KOTO was able to broadcast the Bluegrass Festival despite not having the best relationship with Planet Bluegrass. I attended the first two days of Bluegrass but had to leave town for the weekend. What a treat it was to be able to listen from the other side of the state.
Last year, the Board made the decision to cut back on special events and focus more on programming. As a partner with The Ride Festival, here was an opportunity to provide two days of locally produced, originalprogramming. This was an opportunity lost.
I would like to know – who is focusing on the programming?
KOTO has suffered through a period of division and discord. It’s time to get back on track and return to being the glue that helps hold this community together.
Editor’s Note: James Loo read this letter aloud at KOTO’s Thursday, July 25 board meeting.