On Thursday, June 16th the Greenfield Recorder printed a misleading piece about the Mutton and Mead Medieval Festival- to be held just two days later on June 18th and 19th. While we are still working on breakdown and attending to 2016 festival business as well as trying to catch up with our individual lives - we also need to figure out how it is best to address this piece, its numerous errors and confusion it has caused. In order for Mutton and Mead to be sustainable in the future, we need the community we call our home to be informed. We ask that the public be proactive in seeking understanding.
Please find below our initial letter to the Editor (which is required by the paper to be 300 words or less) :
Now that another successful Mutton & Mead Festival has concluded, we turn to address the issues raised in recent stories in the Recorder.
We regret that The Recorder declined our offer, prior to their deadline, to meet in person to review our organization’s financial documents (also available on our website http://www.muttonandmead.org/about-the-knighten-guild-and-company) that would have provided concrete answers to questions raised.
We also regret any public confusion resulting from the Recorder’s piece; confusion that could have been avoided had the piece been rooted in the desire to inform the public instead of a hopeless attempt to “uncover” some non-existent wrong doing. Basic fact checking, interviewing a broader spectrum of our community, and reviewing materials provided would have transformed this piece.
We have been in the process of streamlining the structure of the organization to best support the festival, maintain focus on the community spirit of the event, and meet all legal requirements with transparency. The festival is in full compliance and good standing with the Attorney General’s Office, a process that began many months ago and, contrary to the Recorder’s allegation, cannot be credited to the Recorder’s involvement.
This year’s festival was a great success, bolstered by our local crew of dedicated actors who brought the legend of Robin Hood and the shire of Nottingham alive (counter to what was reported in your piece) and thanks to the passion and energy of our other performers, educators, artisans, vendors, and most of all, the positive spirits of our patrons.
Once again this year we hosted The Food Bank onsite for a food drive to feed those in need. In 2015, festival attendees contributed 2397 meals (see page 15 of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts 2015 Report).
The Knighten Guild/Mutton & Mead Festival