Festival leaves Bay Roberts
Organizers felt need to get closer to larger population
The province’s Bluegrass and Old-Time Country Music Society has decided to relocate its annual music jamboree from Bay Roberts to St. John’s.
The 2011 festival will take place Sept. 24-25 at the Comfort Inn in St. John’s.
The festival had been staged in Bay Roberts for the past three years, but society president David J. Kiell said the event was showing signs of decline and organizers felt the need to move it back to the St. John’s metropolitan area because of its larger population base.
“ We were starting to go stagnate a little,” Kiell told The Compass last week.
Kiell said organizers are hoping for a 10 per cent increase in attendance this year, and further growth in future years.
He said each of the three weekend sessions in Bay Roberts traditionally attracted about 150 audience members and up to 50 performers.
In addition to shrinking attendance, Kiell said there were also concerns with the sound at the Bay Roberts venues — Bay Arena in 2008 and Ascension Collegiate in 2009 and 2010.
He said the decision to hold this year’s event in a hotel setting is one of several significant changes meant to grow the event.
Kiell praised the Town of Bay Roberts for its financial and logistical support for the two-day event, noting “they treated us fairly.”
“ We had a good run in Bay Roberts,” Kiell stated.