Zydeco is a treasured part of Louisiana's heritage. But those who put on local shows and dances say it's getting so costly that the part of our culture could be in jeopardy.
The love of Zydeco has been passed down from generation to generation. And it's a part of the culture that Harold Guillory is passionate about keeping alive. "It's been a part of Southwest Louisiana even before I was born. My grandfather, Barsett Ardoin; my uncle Lawrence Ardoin, Buckwheat Zydeco, all these great artists were doing this music years and years ago and we're trying to keep the tradition alive," said Guillory.
But he says security costs at events has become so high it's jeopardizing their ability to put on shows. He says they charge $30 per deputy per hour and the sheriff's department decides the number of deputies. "Being charged so much for security, not only that, but we have to pay the artist that is coming to perform. We have to rent the facility, we have to pay for advertisement. So, we as promoters, really don't make any money," said Guillory.
But Calcasieu Chief Deputy Stitch Guillory says the number of officers is for safety. "We're concerned about the safety of our officers, also the safety of the public. If you have 1200 people at an event and you're serving alcohol, and you only hire one security, well, it's not very safe for one guy to be policing an event that size with alcohol being served," said Deputy Guillory.
The chief deputy says they don't have to hire deputies, yet Harold responds, "They just shut the whole event down because we didn't hire security. So it's kind of a catch 22 for us."
Responded Deputy Guillory,"I seriously doubt if we got one complaint that they would go out there and shut them down, I seriously doubt if we got two complaints that they would go out there and shut them down." Deputy Guillory says $30 is a fair price and everyone is charged the same. "You work overtime at any other job you are going to get paid time and a half."
Still, Harold Guillory says they can make profit in places like Iowa, Lafayette, even Beaumont and hate to see their hometown miss out on Zydeco.
Such groups also have to hire bouncers for the inside because the Calcasieu Sheriff's Department doesn't work security inside a club or party with alcohol. The deputies stay on the outside.
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