Fes­ti­val leaves Bay Roberts

Or­ga­niz­ers felt need to get closer to larger pop­u­la­tion

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION -

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.

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