Derrick May and a Thanksgiving parade: the inside story

Last Monday, Ears To The House launched back onto the online airwaves with the news that Derrick May was due to appear at the Thanksgiving Day parade in Detroit on Thursday. We wrote again on Tuesday before receiving confirmation early on Thursday morning that he would no longer appear. A final article appeared on Friday after the parade.

Today, we shall reveal the full story of what’s happened over the past week and some of the background which got us there. And to explain this, we have to go back a number of weeks – all the way back to October 25th. This was the day that Michael James published details on his Facebook page about the parade.

Speaking to our editor, he explains that “At the time, both of this site’s main writers had left due to other commitments and I had fallen sick with a mystery virus. The result was Ears To The House was effectively in hiatus. I was aware of Michael’s post at the time, but wasn’t in a position to join the campaign”.

James subsequently published a number of posts on his page on the subject – urging his own followers and readers to start asking questions to events organisers and sponsors. In the meantime, this site’s relaunch was being prepared in the background – with the original scheduled date due to be November 14th.

However, a number of frustrating delays meant this was pushed back by a week. On the week of November 14th, we received several messages urging us to get involved with this campaign – the number only increased last Friday after Michael James issued what he dubbed a “call to arms”.

Our editor says “Quite simply, we had no choice. Many of the people asking us to get on board have helped us out in the past, so it only felt fair. However, there was a feeling amongst the team that we might have been too late and there was no stopping this. Nonetheless, we spent the weekend sending out countless numbers of emails to as many people involved as we could.”

“I wasn’t feeling too positive on Tuesday when the response all round appeared to be silence, and by the time Wednesday came around, I suspected that May’s appearance was going to go ahead after all. So when we woke up last Thursday to messages confirming his appearance had been pulled, I was stunned. We all were, to be honest.”.

This site cannot claim sole credit for the success of this campaign – and we admit one regret of our coverage is that we didn’t give sufficient credit to the role of other parties at the time. And this is partly why we’re publishing this article today – after all, how can we expect transparency from artists when we aren’t open ourselves?

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