I hope you do not feel bad, because who among this crowd can say they never swung beer or t-shirts or even a grilled cheese in a lot with official vending somewhere.
It's one thing to swing beer or grilled cheese in the lot on tour, it's another to sell an item (especially at an organized festival) with official dates, bands, name of event, etc. when there is already an official item being sold. It's not about supporting the corporate vs. the starving artist either. I didn't see the bootleg poster, but it sounds like they were just taking donations, and that is a little different than blantantly selling them... I guess as an artist myself who started out vending in the lots of Dead tour and "working my way up" (for lack of a better phrase
) to paying to vend at festivals, I am a little touchy about this kind of thing. It costs $2500 to vend at Bonnaroo ya know, and when people set up huge ass booths for free in the campgrounds, you gotta know that there are kind people inside who saved up for months & months to vend their good the "legit" way. Not all people who organize fests or vend officially are corporate or rich. And it's a similar situation with selling bootleg goods. Kind of like how you wouldn't sell bootleg music... You TRADE it, but selling it is considered wrong. Like I said, getting donations or trading is one thing, selling is another... (Although not everyone feels that way, and some people who hold to copyright laws and confiscate bootlegs goods even if you're handing them out for free). Vending is a huge part of our scene and has been for a while, and as long as we all respect each other, everything will be fine. I am not trying to be all righteous here, but as an artist who makes her living selling her handmade goods within the jamband scene (so that I can continue to do tour and attend festivals for as long as I live!), I think it's important for everyone to be aware of the fact that illegal vending and bootleg goods can sometimes hurt good folks.
Most people don't even realize this, and mean no harm at all, which is why it's always a good idea to discuss and inform each other. :0 PEACE.
*Mountains of the Moon*
One-of-a-Kind Goods Inspired by the Music
"Forever Family, Forever Grateful"