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DEMF replay

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News Hits thought the angst surrounding DEMF 2002 had faded. We were wrong. La Donna Bowen, who coordinated volunteer activity for all three Detroit Electronic Music Festivals, claims she’s getting stiffed by the festival’s promoter.

Bowen says Pop Culture Media — the company that produces the festival — owes her $2,500. Carol Marvin, the company’s owner, acknowledges the debt in an August letter to Bowen and says she’s waiting on “production fees” owed Pop Culture.

Marvin only raised $200,000 in sponsorships for the festival this year, compared to well over $1.8 million in 2001, according to city documents. But even when the festival was flush with sponsorship cash, folks weren’t paid on time. In some cases they weren’t paid at all, according to a couple of lawsuits filed last year.

Bowen is now threatening to take Marvin to court as well.

“This is my livelihood, and I really, really need that money,” says Bowen, who staffs entertainment events around the city. “Marvin says this festival is a gift from God, and a gift she’s giving to Detroit.

“I’d like to believe her intent is good. But she is not a person of her word. She’s like those people avoiding the bill collectors. What I’d like to know is, can’t God send her a message to pay her bills?”

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