Back in September of 2022 I answered a post requesting submissions for videos to be aired on a website called Fringe TV. Although the Black Mountain Druid Order has its own Youtube channel and we also have a partnership with Pagan World TV, I went ahead and shared videos with Fringe TV as well.

At about the same time, I joined the International Pagan Music Association (IPMA). As a Pagan musician, I recognize the need for an organization that supports and promotes Pagan music. Unfortunately this organization is not it.

Let me tell you why.

It turns out that Fringe TV and the IPMA are run and organized by the same group of people, although they claim to be separate entities. Everything was fine with both of these organizations until they found out that my video shows were also airing on Pagan World TV and our Youtube channel. When they found this out, I got a rather nasty message from two people involved with Fringe TV saying that they were an “exclusive organization,” meaning that they would not run my videos if they were also airing anywhere else.

No mention was made of this when I shared my content with them, nor did they send me any sort of contract or agreement stating this when I shared my content with them.

That was fine, since I already had other outlets, so I withdrew permission for Fringe TV to use my videos and asked them not to air them anymore.

This is where the difficulty comes in.

Fringe TV and the International Pagan Music Association are supposed to be separate entities, but some of the same people are involved in both organizations. I paid their rather expensive membership fee of $59.00 for artists and joined the IPMA in late September of 2022.

Some of the “benefits” of artist membership are listed on their website as:

Benefits of Associate Membership

  • Discounts to events
  • Behind the scenes events
  • Membership and Discount Card
  • Voting for your favorite artist for awards

Benefits of Artist Membership

  • All personal membership benefits
  • Promotions in our newsletter and associated radio and tv stations
  • Your schedule in our newsletter
  • First Priority for special gigs

Since joining IPMA in late September of 2022 I have received none of these benefits, nor have I received any contact info stating why. Additionally, I was promised a “Who Am I” spotlight interview as an artist member. After multiple attempts I was finally able to schedule the interview. I had re-scheduled some important business to be available for the interview but it was cancelled without my being told in advance. I finally got a notice it was cancelled about an hour AFTER the scheduled time.

After that cancellation, I had to clear my schedule yet again to re-schedule the interview, costing me even more time and money. This tells me that the organizers of IPMA value their own time more than they do the time of their members and customers.

After multiple re-schedules the interview was finally completed, but as of the day of this writing (November 21, 2022) it has not yet been posted on IPMA’s website.

One of the membership benefits listed on the IPMA website is assistance with booking gigs. To date I have not been added to the page for gig booking requests, nor have I been added to the “Who Am I” interviews page, even though IPMA has had ample time to edit and post such an interview. In short, they are in breach of contract for not providing promised member benefits after I paid my membership fees.

In addition to all of this, my posts are being deleted from the IPMA Facebook groups for no stated reason. I can only assume this is some sort of retaliation for not allowing them exclusive rights to my video and music content, even though I have continued to allow IPMA to post on my own Facebook groups.

I understand there are challenges to running an all-volunteer network like IPMA; however, there are still professional standards that should be met, and personal vendettas should not be grounds for violating a membership contract. Even if your organization is run by volunteers, you still have a legal and ethical obligation to provide the services you promise for the membership fees. If you cannot keep the promises you make to your members because of lack of volunteer staff, then you should not make promises you can’t keep.

In short, the International Pagan Music Association is not a professional organization. Hopefully they can correct the problems listed below, because there is a need for such an organization IF it can be run professionally; however, until these problems are addressed I would not recommend any of my fellow musicians joining the organization.

Here is a list of my reasons why you should avoid IPMA until these issues are addressed:

  1. The organizers obviously allow their own personal vendettas to get in the way of running the organization; up to and including breach of contract by not making good on promised member benefits.
  2. On the website there is no mention of a Board of Directors or any other information stating who runs the organization, nor any contact info for any person to file a complaint with. This is a violation of federal law.
  3. No location for the headquarters of the organization is listed on the website, and no Terms of Service or Privacy Policy is listed on the website. This means that since they don’t say where they’re located, you cannot bring lawsuit against them or file a complaint when they breach contracts.
  4. There is no listed refund policy on the website. While this is not strictly speaking illegal, it is a violation of best practices for most online businesses.
  5. Membership is set up as an ongoing annual recurring deduction. The only way to change this is to cancel it through your PayPal; otherwise you will be billed every year indefinitely until you cancel it manually.
  6. One of the people who contacted me to arrange my interview after I joined IPMA also won the Best Male Vocalist of the Year award for this year. Since he contacted me, I can only assume that he is involved in running the organization in some way. Since this person also won an award through IPMA for 2022, this means that the people who run the organization are also allowing themselves to receive awards. This is a clear conflict of interest and is illegal in many states. It is also possible a violation of federal law.
  7. The website lists itself as “IPMA, Inc.” The designation, “Inc.” is a legally-protected designation and an abbreviation for “incorporated.” To be a legally incorporated entity, federal law requires you to list the business address of the corporation on the website. No such address is given.
  8. Additionally, to be legally incorporated, federal law and many state laws require you to list at least one contact person for the corporation. No such contact person is listed on the website.
  9. If the International Pagan Music Association (DBA “IPMA, Inc.”) is NOT legally incorporated, then they are guilty of misrepresenting themselves as a corporation when they have no legal right to do so, and are guilty of violating federal and possibly state laws.
  10. Finally, any business that solicits funds from the public and promises certain benefits for receipt of those funds doesn’t get to change its mind if members of the organization have a personal vendetta against a person or persons who have lawfully entered into a contract by paying for those services and expecting to receive them in a timely fashion.

If you have also been victimized by the International Pagan Music Association, you can file a complaint at the federal level using the links below. Since they offer no information about which state they are located in, it is impossible to file a complaint at the state level at this time. If this changes in the future, you can file a complaint by contacting the Secretary of State for the state in which their business operates.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

How to report a fake company

Internal Revenue Service