For the past few years, RKO Army performed Rocky Horror Picture Show as part of our Friday night entertainment. We sincerely love having RKO Army as part of the NELA FFF family but feel that it is important to be transparent about these occurrences both as a matter of trust with the community as well as between NELA and its vendors and presenters. However, last year there were contractual issues and privacy concerns which convinced us to ask RKO leadership to step back for a year. discussing these issues, we promised RKO that we would address circulating rumors about RHPS at FFF54 and what took place at FFF52.
Some of the issues from FFF52 included
- Selling swag without a permit required by the City of Warwick
- Planning to exceed the hotel’s time allotted for the space
- Soliciting tips
- Unauthorized photography
- Unauthorized video recording of the performance.
We appreciate RKO taking responsibility for the unauthorized swag sales table and their apology for the potentially catastrophic results of their actions in which the Flea could have been shut down.
RKO admitted they did not fully read the NELA Presenter’s contract which lead to some of the issues at the event. NELA and RKO Army had multiple conversations to better understand the history of the events, such as the solicitation for tips and the additional performance of ‘The Room’. These conversations also provided the opportunity to outline NELA’s plan to operate within each contract’s parameters to promote consistency and transparency with all involved. We are happy to work with folks and need conversations to take place up front and to document agreed upon changes so that expectations are clear for both sides. When contracts are clearly documented it is much easier for new representatives from both sides to pick up where previous ones left off.
The most upsetting incident revolved around the unauthorized video recording of the performance. NELA’s Board’s Chair explicitly denied permission but an RKO producer did so anyway. NELA recognizes that most kink community members are not out and value their privacy greatly. Being recorded without their knowledge, enthusiastic consent, or express permission is a significant violation of their trust and confidentiality and NELA takes it very seriously.
Recording their performance seems to be a tradition as well as a source of pride for the cast of RHPS so, we resolved to post signs and make pre-performance announcements at future RKO presentations that photography and videography *only* of the stage may take place during the performance allowing Flea-goers to make an informed choice of seating preference.
We look forward to welcoming back RKO Army at FFF56 with their production of RHPS bigger and better than ever.
In the meantime, for FFF54, we invite all community members to continue the tradition of having the Rocky Horror Picture Show as part of our Friday night entertainment. If you are interested in participating, please go to https://fetishflea.com/rhps/.