Hannah Johnson's open letter to the BCMA

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Hannah Johnson's open letter to the BCMA

Postby lo&m » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:00 pm

My open letter to the BCMA British Country Music Association #ukcountry #britishcountry #BCMA #britishcountrymusicassociation

To whom it may concern,

I want you to know that this letter comes from a place of honesty. I have carved my career for the last 17 years playing all manner of country music professionally in the UK including bluegrass, western swing, honky tonk and traditional country music. I have made many sacrifices during those 17 years precisely because this music means so very much to me. It is more than my ‘job’, my love of country music defines me; it is the powerful force driving my passion, the culmination of which, is my life’s work.

Believe me when I say that it is with great pride that I am able to represent British country music to some capacity and I am able to celebrate some of it’s achievements whether I am playing here in the UK, Europe or the States. I am proud of who I am, where I have come from and what country music means to me. Trust me when I assure you it was with great pride and hopeful expectation that I eagerly paid up my hard earned cash to join The British Country Music Association in June 2017.

So it was with some shock and genuine confusion therefore, when I discovered that the more I tried to learn about the association I had joined, the more I became alarmingly concerned about it’s lack of transparency. We live in age now where transparency is paramount to associations such as the BCMA and the preservation of their core values often ensures both success and longevity. To demonstrate what I am talking about please see below some links I have provided from the top of my head:

• Ameripolitan: https://www.ameripolitan.com/copy-of-home
• International Bluegrass Music Association: https://ibma.org/about
• The Australian Country Music Association: http://country.com.au/about/
• The UK Americana Association: https://theamauk.org/about-us

These associations and their values are symbiotic. They stand for something salient. Not only do they help define what it is that a given association stands for but they also hold great significance to their members; values that often contribute as a principal and determining factors for a person becoming a member or not. So it is with genuine intrigue as both a professional musician working within the UK and as a paying member of your association that I openly pose the following questions to you, the BCMA:

1.) What and where is the BCMA’s mission statement? – An outline of the association’s fundamental values. What does the BCMA stand for and what are it’s primary objectives?
2.) If the association has such a mission statement, why is it not on the BCMA website or made available to it’s members? If it does not have a mission statement, why is that? As a member of multiple music associations it is alarming that there is nothing to solidify in writing what it is the BCMA represents.
3.) How many current members does the BCMA have?
4.) How and by whom is it decided who sits on the BCMA board?
5.) How does the BCMA support country music in the UK?
6.) How does the BCMA promote country music in the UK?
7.) Does the BCMA offer any support to UK country artists? If so how?
8.) How does the BCMA elect which artists they choose to promote on their website and social media? Does being a member have any impact on this?
9.) Who is responsible for the BCMAs social media? Does the association have guidelines for how and whom they promote? If so, can such guidelines be made public or available to your members? If not, why not?
10.) How does the BCMA ensure that there is no conflict of interest with its board members and its partners? These are often the same people who have other invested private and commercial interests. How does the BCMA ensure objectivity and non-bias toward its artists, its members or whomever it is they seek to represent in light of such conflicted interests?
11.) How does the association elect nominees for the BCMA awards? What are the guidelines and why are they not made public or available to your members?
12.) How does the BCMA ensure a non-bias process for nominations? I.e. what is the protocol for nominees that are related to or connected with board members and/or partners? How does the association ensure that all nominations are fair and non-bias? For example, if two board members or sponsors had a child, would it be fair to continually nominate that offspring for consecutive years for the same award?
13.) What are the BCMAs goals and objectives for the future?
14.) Does the BCMA offer any subsidies for artists? If so how is it decided who they are awarded to?
15.) It has come to light that the BCMA has in the past invited artists to their award show as “guests” (so free of charge), how is it decided which artists are offered such opportunities? How does the BCMA ensure this is fair for everyone, particularly to its paying members who are artists?
16.) How does the BCMA select which UK artists will perform at their ‘Best of British’ annual show and indeed for performances at the BCMA awards? How does the BCMA ensure this is fair, particularly to its paying members who are artists? What are the guidelines? Can they be made public or available to paying members?
17.) How does the BCMA select which artists will perform on stages they host at various UK country music festivals? How does the BCMA ensure this is fair, particularly to its paying members who are artists? What are the guidelines? Can they be made public or available to paying members?
18.) Can a list of all affiliations/stages/showcases etc. that the BCMA has with private UK festivals or ventures be made public or available to members? If not, why not?
19.) Can members get refunds?

I am sure you can appreciate these are just a fragment of many basic questions any association should be prepared to answer. Many associations can and do with ease. Maybe if the above could be addressed, a lot less confusion would surround the association currently and it’s integrity would not be so frequently called in to question, often by its own members. That is, unless none of the above has ever been addressed by the association? It would be devastating to learn that the truth of the matter is, the BCMA is an association corrupt to it’s very core, unable to address or answer any of the above because it operates primarily as a biased, unprofessional, tactical body used to promote and serve the vested interest of board members, its partners and the select few they favour… Surely not.

Yours Sincerely,
Membership No. 0427

This letter was copied from Hannah's Facebook page as she has asked those who care about the current state of country music in Britain to share it. http://www.hjbrokenhearts.com
Country is a state of mind, not a state of America.

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Re: Hannah Johnson's open letter to the BCMA

Postby kev » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:23 am

These are pretty much the same questions that have been appearing on here for a while now: Ol' Livewirer seemed to get particularly worked up about it! Maybe this is apt for this occasion?


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Re: Hannah Johnson's open letter to the BCMA

Postby Smudger » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:58 pm

I like Question 19 best........

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Re: Hannah Johnson's open letter to the BCMA

Postby LoneShark » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:44 pm

Naive, despite pertinent questions, as there is an underlying issue with this artist and a member of th BMCA. It's the music business Hannah, nothing is as it seems, believe it or not there IS backstabbing, ass licking and threats, both verbal and physical. It's how you deal with it that will define your progress and development. Been there done that!

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