Let me start by letting you know that I have the highest respect for you and as someone that feels connected to the medicine Festival I pray that you will open your hearts and find the best conclusion for us and the community as a whole.
Attached please find a letter from Jojo in response to the last 3 years and the letter she received from your solicitors.
Personally, I am shocked by the whole situation. After reading the letter myself it's clear that it has no integrity and is filled with untruths from top to bottom. This is disappointing seeing as a lot of people have a lot of trust and faith in medicine festival as leaders within the alternative healing and indigenous wisdom community.
Some points from the solicitors letter dated 5th July 2023:
>>However, it is clear that your client was entirely to blame for the incident and her resulting injuries.
This I refute, medicine festival should hold at least some responsibility for the completely unsafe fire and lack of safety and concerns for the well being of people around it
The fire keeper did not have any control of the situation and nobody from the festival was seen or took charge. The firekeeper, was feeding the fire beyond what was necessary, and the logs were placed in such a position that they were a trip hazard. neither was the fire held in a sacred manner, which is entirely the responsibility of the festival.
>> The area was supervised by a fire marshal, with security staff and festival stewards also closely monitoring the area.
this is false, no security staff or festival stewards intervened.
>> Security staff repeatedly asked that the individuals (including your client) move away from the fire and threatened to close the fire pit if they did not stand back. Initially, the security staff were ignored. Security staff then physically stood between the patrons and the fire, forcing them to move away.
Complete fabrication of the truth, none of this happened.
>>This temporarily resolved the issue, but after around 15 minutes, the patrons again began to congregate and dance close to the fire. Again, your client was involved in this action. This time, a number of patrons had created a human-barrier around the fire pit to prevent security staff from gaining access to the fire. Your client was positioned within this human-barrier and continued to dance vigorously around the fire. Your client repeatedly ignored requests to move away from the fire.
Complete fabrication of the truth, non of this happened.
>> At some point shortly after this human barrier was created, your client fell forward into the fire. Complete fabrication of the truth, no barrier was ever created
>>Your client is also suspected to have been under the influence of alcohol and illicit drugs at the time of the incident, even though the festival is advertised as a ‘dry’ event, with no alcohol being sold at the venue. In the Patient Report Form prepared by the first aider who provided treatment to your client, it is noted that the patient (your client) had “drank alcohol and taken some substances would not say what had been taken.” Another eye-witness source describes that your client “appeared to be under the influence of something”.
Complete fabrication of the truth, none of this happened. I had been with Jojo the whole day until that moment and afterwards at the hospital, she had not been drinking nor taken any drugs.
>>Your allegations in respect of our client’s arrangements to monitor and control the risks in relation to fire are firmly disputed. Our client had in place a comprehensive site risk assessment document and also a specific fire risk assessment. The general risk assessment document specifically accounts for any risk posed by the fire pits. To mitigate this risk, the document confirms that “communal fire pits will be monitored and managed at all times”. A photograph taken of the fire pit in use at the festival shows a woman, the fire marshal, in a high-vis jacket stood over the fire. The procedures, provision of staff and risk assessments put in place by our client at the time were entirely adequate and adhered to all our times by our client.
Complete fabrication, none of your photos show the extent of the fire. Please find the actual photo from the moments before the accident for clear evidence of the bonfire that had been created. If there were risk assessments and procedures in place, NON of them were being followed.
>>Clearly, your client was the author of her own misfortune. It is reasonable to expect that adults are aware of the risks of fire and take appropriate personal care. You client, however, neglected to take sufficient care around the fire pit area and ignored the explicit warnings of the event staff. Her behaviour was erratic, and her judgement was likely impaired through the use of alcohol and/or drugs.
Complete fabrication of the truth, none of this happened.
>>Your client appears to accept that she was entirely to blame.
No she does not??
Unfortunately, now this issue will have to be brought to public scrutiny which will lead to a lot of harm, confusion and betrayal of trust in our tight community. The article will soon be published in a major newspaper, and this plus an expose of the truth will not be good for anyone. The result of this article on both the local community plus the indigenous communities of the Huni Kuin and Yawanawa will be massive.
I think that the best thing you can do, is contact Jojo asap and offer an apology, plus seek an agreement that is to her benefit in the hope that this will avert the situation going any further and public.
Nevertheless we do know the truth and there are photos and recordings that prove the truth too. plus many witnesses to the event. That plus the power of social media and the fact that this is a very tight community where reputation and integrity is held in high esteem will create a lot of negative consequences once this story gets out.
Your actions from this point on will determine the consequences that the whole community face, but you can be assured that the truth will shine through and these untruths will be exposed.
Either way, lots of lessons are about to be learned and your actions from this point on, will be a clear demonstration of your intentions and integrity.
I've attached all the documents so you can refer to, including the solicitors letter, pictures of the fire you submitted, plus pictures of the actual fire.
Somesh's Letter to Medicine Festival on 1st August