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Archive for Wednesday, March 20, 2002

K.C. blues fest canceled

Funds, attendance too low to maintain event, official says

March 20, 2002

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— The Kansas City Blues & Jazz Festival has been canceled for this summer.

Rich Carr, president of the festival's board, made the announcement after a board meeting Monday night, citing two years of disappointing attendance and the tightened economy since Sept. 11.

What would have been the 12th annual festival, cut back by one day, had been scheduled July 19-20 in Penn Valley Park.

"What we're going to do is regroup this year, see what happens with the economy next year and hopefully get back with a festival next year," Carr said.

He said the only hope for having a festival this year would be some sponsor coming forward with "a couple of hundred thousand dollars.

"Sponsorship was off last year, and this year it's just been nil," he said.

"It's really a sad day for Kansas City when our musical heritage, what we're known for, has to cancel," said Roger Naber, a co-founder of the festival who left the organization two years ago.

Naber said the festival has had so many volunteers to work for it that the cancellation "obviously leaves the market wide open for somebody else to come in with a new festival."

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