By Chad Ingram
This summer’s Minden Hills Bluegrass Festival has been cancelled by organizers.
The festival was scheduled for July 18 through 20. However due to low advance ticket sales the Rotary Club of Minden has decided to cancel the event for this year.
“They just weren’t strong enough to encourage us to keep going” organizer Dennis Casey told the Times. The Rotary Club with assistance from the Minden Kin Club and the Township of Minden Hills has hosted the festival at the Minden fairgrounds for the past eight years. This summer’s festival would have been the ninth annual incarnation.
Casey said that crunching the numbers it was just going to be too much of a financial risk for the Rotary Club. While the Minden club is small he said it’s financially stable. However losing money on a festival “is just money that can’t go to something else” Casey said stressing Rotary is a service club.
“We felt it was going to be too big of a hit.”
Casey said the club also wanted to give the bands who were scheduled to play the event time to rebook themselves for that weekend.
Trying again next year has not necessarily been ruled out. “For this year it’s too late” Casey said. He said there are 15 or 16 similar bluegrass festivals that take place throughout the province each summer and that a number of them are experiencing lowered ticket sales and attendance. He said this might be attributable to a number of factors including competition weather and changing demographics. “It could be a lot of things.”
“We’re disappointed we’re sad” said Casey who hosts a bluegrass show on Canoe FM. He added that some Minden business owners had asked about the dates for the festival so they could bring additional staff during that time. “We knew it was of economic value to the community.”