Farmer Asks God to Defend His Music - And Gets His Wish
Can't find a new gimmick to get your music out there? Take an example from feed-farmer, Bill Pritts. He won't let the law keep him down. He's turned to God to help his promotional efforts.
Pritts was shut down by his local authorities when he tried to promote a live music event on his 147 acre southwestern Pennsylvania farm. Folks would have pitched their tents while jazz, bluegrass and rock bands jammed on a 60-foot-wide open stage.
But the County yanked his permit and said his property isn't zoned for moneymaking concerts. So the feed-farmer turned himself into a preacher and formed a church. Relying on 1st Amendment protection to further his agenda, he says his Church of Universal Love and Music is committed to spiritual growth through music.
Zoning director, Tammy Shell (who apparently did not enjoy the movie Woodstock) says the events have drawn complaints for noise and the hundreds of vehicles scattered over surrounding rural roads.
A judge's order calls for a fine of $500 a day for each day Pritts uses his property for "musical, fund-raising or religious events." Shell says that Pritts will likely just pay the fine and laugh all the way to the bank, as his events pull in far more.
Pritts claims the money collected for admittance to the events are "donations," not ticket sales, leaving them outside the scope of the judge's order. His last event, "The Freedom Festival," featured 18 bands and drew a crowd of 900 at about $75 a ticket.
Pritts says he feels his "church" is the target of bigotry because it's open to people of all faiths. "We all just like to have weekend outings and listen to music."
Gotta love this guy.
God bless America!
For more on Church of Universal Love and Music: www.ilovemusicchurch.com