Having to drag out of a venue near occasion day is a horror for any occasion organizer. But for Kevin Lynch of Salem Horror Fest, it was both that or fully drop the pageant’s political stance.
Salem’s Regional Visitor Center was presupposed to host among the pageant’s movie screenings, however when somebody known as consideration to the pageant’s political stance in opposition to President Donald Trump, officers with the Essex National Heritage Area, which operates the middle, advised organizers they needed to take away the anti-Trump posts from social media to have the ability to use the middle’s screening room.
Instead of doing that, Lynch and colleagues determined to draw back from the venue with the hope of discovering one other place inside a brief timeline.
“The whole purpose of our festival is to explore cultural anxiety and societal fears,” Lynch, who serves because the pageant’s founder and director, advised Boston.com. “It would’ve negated the entire purpose of our festival.”
An electronic mail went out from somebody involved concerning the pageant’s political stance, in keeping with Lynch. It went to the entire pageant’s venues in addition to metropolis officers. The customer heart was the one one to query the pageant about its politics, nevertheless it’s additionally the one venue that isn’t privately owned. Fortunately, the customer heart screenings have since been moved to The Bridge at 211.
Lynch stated there’s no dangerous emotions towards these at Essex Heritage – he understands that due to the group’s standing as a non-profit, and the customer heart being owned by a federal entity, the National Park Service, it has to keep away from having a political leaning.
“Basically, this isn’t their fault,” he stated, noting that what it comes all the way down to is laws and coverage. “We don’t blame them. … They serve an important function. They’re the revolving door of the city.”
Essex Heritage issued a press release in response to different latest information reviews concerning the horror fest relocating its occasions. This was the primary yr the 2 determined to work collectively, the assertion stated, and when the group grew to become conscious of the pageant’s stance, officers from each the group and the pageant labored collectively to discover a compromise. For the pageant, it got here all the way down to deciding to relocate the screenings.
“We have been stunned to see recent social media and news outlets reporting that the Salem Horror Fest was ‘booted’ out of the Salem Visitor Center despite their posting on Facebook stating that ‘we chose to leave,’” a part of the assertion stated. “We find this characterization most unfortunate and the controversy is over-shadowing Salem Haunted Happenings, the month-long, family-friendly Halloween festival in Salem, MA.”
Lynch says that he does wish to meet with Essex Heritage officers and speak concerning the coverage.
“I don’t hold ill will toward them,” he stated.