Festival success stands test of time

Wendy Houlihan
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This year's Splash concert, held annually as part of the Exploits Valley Salmon Festival, didn't live up to the expectations of festivals in the past, losing about $200,000 rather than generating revenue for the town.

While people in the community have been quick to jump all over council for the failure of this year's concert, it is necessary to point out that this is the first time in a decade that the concert has flopped.

This year's Splash concert, held annually as part of the Exploits Valley Salmon Festival, didn't live up to the expectations of festivals in the past, losing about $200,000 rather than generating revenue for the town.

While people in the community have been quick to jump all over council for the failure of this year's concert, it is necessary to point out that this is the first time in a decade that the concert has flopped.

The last time was when the Doobie Brothers played. That concert was plagued with the same terrible weather conditions that were part of the downfall of this year's event - something that is always a mitigating factor when it comes to the success of any outdoor concert.

Over the years, Grand Falls-Windsor has boasted fabulous line-ups of stellar performers that have impressed even the most dubious of concert-goers. For the most part, this town is much smaller that most places these people play, but yet they come here because of the reputation of the festival and the number of fans they can access due to the enormity of the concert.

Maybe this year wasn't as great as it has been in years past. Maybe the line-up didn't appeal to people in the same way, maybe the torrential rain deterred people from coming, maybe those who normally make the trip to Grand Falls-Windsor for the concert spent their money going to one of the many other concerts that were available to them this summer.

Whatever the reason for the flop, people in the community need to remember that the Splash concert rarely is unsuccessful. That event has put Grand Falls-Windsor on the musical map for the province, and even the country, generating revenue left, right and centre for over 15 years and bringing visitors from all over to the town where they freely spend their money.

People also have to remember other benefits besides revenue that the festival has. For weeks ahead of the big event, the town prepares for the influx of people by hiring hundreds of workers to take care of the campgrounds, prepare the field with booths and for security on concert day. Businesses are also busy ordering extra merchandise and food to help feed and stock the concert-goers with basic needs items.

For students who are looking for some extra money in the summer months or for adults who are simply looking for a boost to their bank accounts, these jobs are important to them.

And while it is unfortunate that taxpayers are footing the bill for the losses of this year's Salmon Festival, those same taxpayers need to recognize that Grand Falls-Windsor has been the benefactor of the revenues that were generated in years past. How many capital projects were funded in part or in full by the money from the Salmon Festival? How many salaries were paid to town employees, who make life more convenient by picking up garbage and clearing snow in the winter?

Without a doubt, it is a fair statement to make that the gains made by past festivals far outweigh the losses suffered by this year's event, and that more than likely the concert will recover quickly enough and return to its former glory in years to come.

Maybe people should not be so quick to judge an event that for a long time has been an asset to the community.

Organizations: Doobie Brothers

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Recent comments

  • Former
    June 28, 2010 - 14:49

    Is it just me or does it seem that the town has be heading in a downwards direction ever sense Rex Barnes became mayor, come on Rex you need to pick it up

  • Former
    June 22, 2010 - 16:04

    Is it just me or does it seem that the town has be heading in a downwards direction ever sense Rex Barnes became mayor, come on Rex you need to pick it up