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Distressed by 'Combat' Energy at Fairy Event 

Editor:

I attended the Fairy Festival on June 30 at the plaza sponsored by Arcata Mainstreet, and commend the cause as a benefit for CASA ("Set it Off," June 28). However, I was quite distressed by it on two counts.

First, it was sad to see no children at the Storytelling Stage for two of the storytellers who were presenting. Could it be because the children in that part of the plaza were so busy bashing each other with padded weapons? I felt that this "combat event" was chaotic, not well supervised and not a great idea if we are trying to promote peace and harmony through "fairy energy." I felt sorry for the child I witnessed crying on the grass after having been hit, with no one to immediately attend to him until his mother spotted him.

Second, the programs on the Main Stage were great during the first part of the festival, with the talented music of Good Company and the wonderful belly dancing troupe. However, the music for the Twilight Ball was very disturbing and ultimately drove me out of there with its "bass whomping" special effect. The beauty created by the exotic instruments of the second band was totally overridden by this extreme-volume, electronic special effect, which made my chest vibrate in a very uncomfortable way. I feel that children are sensitive and if my body felt so physically assaulted by this effect both bands employed, it can only be even more damaging to vulnerable children — with which my companion was in agreement.

I feel that this extreme effect is only appropriate for contained, adult venues — not in an outdoor, family-oriented festival. I urge better discretion with careful screening in future hiring of musicians for such an event.

Margaret Branch, Arcata

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