Festival Owner Gets 30 Months in Slammer

In late 2010 we brought you the story of Jimmy Tebeau, the owner and operator of the Camp Zoe festival grounds, which was getting seized (along with Tebeau's bank account) by federal authorities following a four-year investigation into rampant drug use and sales on the property. The St. Louis Post reported Tuesday that Tebeau pled guilty to variety of drug charges, and sentenced to 30 months in prison, 200 hours of community service, and a $50,000 fine. The interesting thing about the case is that Tebeau, who also played bass in the Grateful Dead cover band The Schwag, never sold drugs.

The District Attorney's office released a statement noting that Tebeau neither participated in drug sales nor received any funds from them. However, Tebeau did admit that he was well aware of the sales and instructed his employees that certain types of drugs would be allowed in the fairgrounds (such as marijuana, LSD, and mushrooms); they were instructed to eject anybody who sold crack cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, or nitrous oxide gas.

Tebeau, apparently, seems unphased by the sentencing, having played a set with the Jerry Garcia Band the night of his sentencing. So what will the fallout from this sentencing be? A reasonable conclusion is crackdowns across the country on drug sale and use inside concert venues and fairgrounds. Tebeau had no participation in these sales, but was sentenced simply on allowing them to happen--losing his fairgrounds in the process. Event organizers and venue owners have learned the possible implications of allowing drugs on their property, and will probably want to avoid meeting a similar fate.