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Letter to the editor: Cedar Rapids, we can do better than GO Cedar Rapids and newbo evolve

I publicly voiced early reservations with newbo evolve, the city’s festival turned flop. It featured mundane pop acts. It lost $2.3 million. Vendors are still owed $800,000. Executives were fired. Board members pointed fingers. And the banally named GO Cedar Rapids ceased operations on Monday, Oct. 15. How did this all go so wrong? […]

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Letter to the editor: We critiqued newbo evolve. Now here’s how we fix it.

Several weeks ago I penned a letter raising concerns about the then-upcoming newbo evolve festival. My primary criticism was that the event’s branding seemed at odds with its elements. How can one truly have an event “celebrating the Bohemian spirit” with $400 passes, a lineup dominated by mainstream pop acts and a lack of community engagement in the planning process? […]

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Letter to the editor: Why we should critique newbo evolve

Cedar Rapids entrepreneur Steve Shriver wrote a letter to The Gazette in February chastising those raising concerns and criticisms of the upcoming newbo evolve festival. Shriver asked, “What do you gain by complaining about an upcoming event?” Shriver’s loaded question reveals his defensive attitude and skewed perception. It’s also emblematic of what is wrong with the current “creative brain trust” in Cedar Rapids. […]

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