Possessed By Paul James Says 35 Conferette Shortchanged His Pay

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Leading up to this year's installment of

35 Conferette

, after hearing some pretty salty rumors about bands not getting paid in full in 2010, we were curious as to how the festival would be able to afford to pay this year's acts. After all, this was the biggest festival yet, and with headliners like

Big Boi


Mavis Staples


Dr. Dog

and several other sizable acts, we figured 35 Conferette would have to shell out quite a bit of money to make it all work. None of our calls or emails to festival organizer Chris Flemmons were returned.

But, the festival seemed to go off with nary a hitch, save for some schedule delays on the first night. And, other than that, it seemed like a successful festival.

Then we saw this Facebook status update from Possessed By Paul James' Konrad Wert, who resides in Boerne, Texas:

"So the 14 hour round trip to Denton the other night was alright picken and good folks out & about as always. Granted, it would've been nice to get paid the agreed amount, but hey that's life."

Update: Chris Flemmons responded with the following statement:

"I have an incredible respect for Konrad and I continue to believe he is THE
best songwriter in the State of Texas. This error was simply clerical, and
unfortunately personal, and efforts were made to resolve the difference at
the time of payment. Konrad was never told he would not be compensated --
matter of fact I anticipated seeing him at his show later this week in
Austin to personally resolve the matter."

We reached out to Wert to find out exactly what happened, and according to him, all was not right with this year's 35 Conferette...

Initially, Wert says, there was a lack of communication from the festival organizers, who had switched around the time slot of his performance several times. Schedule changes are to be expected, though, especially for a smaller festival like 35 Conferette.

But, according to Wert, at one point in February, the festival wasn't going to happen.

"Chris told us the entire [festival] was getting shut down due to city conflicts," writes Wert.

But when he heard that the festival was back on, and a fan told him that Possessed By Paul James was scheduled to open for Slobberbone, Wert reached out to Flemmons to get something set in stone, and the two agreed that Wert would be paid $500 for his performance -- after which he would immediately leave to be back home in time to go to work as a schoolteacher.

"We played a good set -- only five to six songs at most, and then [went] to find Chris for payout. This is where it went real far south, man. He hands us $300 and says he can't pay anymore," writes Wert. "That $500 is for groceries, diapers, utilities etc. and for Chris to handle this so poorly is such a disappointing thing, man."

It will be interesting to find out if more bands experienced the same thing that happened to Wert, who says he likely won't be performing at next year's installment.

"Such is life," writes Wert. "But needless to say, we're no longer interested in the goings on of [35 Conferette] nor Chris' endeavors."

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.