[Dixielandjazz] Victoria Festival

Kurt bowermastergroup at qwest.net
Wed Dec 17 11:22:10 PST 2003

I'd be interested in knowing what the reaction from the Victoria business
community / Chamber of Commerce is to the festival cancellation.  Are they
stepping up with solutions to the reason(s) for the cancellation, or do they
even care?  Do they see the cancellation of the festival as a hit on the
local economy (unbooked hotel rooms, empty restaurants, etc.)?

-----Original Message-----
From: dixielandjazz-bounces at ml.islandnet.com
[mailto:dixielandjazz-bounces at ml.islandnet.com]On Behalf Of Stephen
Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2003 11:07 AM
To: Dixieland Jazz Mailing List
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Victoria Festival

Dear Len (Nielsen)

It certainly was not my intention to "piss you off". But merely to point
out that there are too many OKOM festivals out there in the USA and
Canada today, for the existing supply of attendees. Translation: Too
Much Supply. Not Enough Demand. Until the Festival Producers come to
understand that simple fact, there will be erroneous excuses as to why a
certain festival went belly up.

Bill Gunter's observation that the audience is constantly shrinking
takes us all to the conclusion that something in the Festivals =
Audience equation has to change drastically in order for all the
Festivals, as we know them, to survive.

The band list at Victoria is similar to many other Festivals in Western
North America. If there are 10 Festivals with similar line ups, and only
audience for 5, than 5 are going to fail, unless like some, they are
subsidized by wealthy people.

Yes Victoria WAS a great festival. It HAD some good bands. The
volunteers WERE doing a great job. The audience USED to come. All PAST

It is not your fault any more than it is the fault of the war in Iraq.
Nor is it the fault of the exchange rate in Canada vs. the USA, which if
anything, should bring more Americans to Victoria for a visit.

We all have done the same thing. Thought that things would permanently
continue on as they had for the past 30 years. That is human nature. But
every venture has a finite life cycle. Nothing lasts forever. And the
OKOM Festival universe as we know it in the USA and Canada is winding
down. There should be no question about that demonstrable fact

There are a few people on the list who point out that this is happening
and that the OKOM world needs to change the way we present the music if
we are to maximize it's possibilities. There are also those who resent
the change, and or live in denial about it. No point in getting pissed
on either side of the issue. Rather we would use all that energy to
solve what continues to be a growing problem.

So when we hear a "reason" from an organizer as to why an OKOM festival
didn't draw audience, we should not be so quick to accept it. The only
real reason why, is because there are no longer enough Blue Hairs alive
to support the existing number of OKOM festivals out there. Those
festivals that survive had better do something different, or be that one
exception to the rule, like Pismo. (SO FAR)

As Dr. Phil says: "We can't solve the problem unless we acknowledge that
it exists." ;-) VBG

Steve Barbone

PS. US travel right now is at it's highest point in 3 years and with
recent events, sure to get even better. So why cancel a festival in what
appears to a banner year?  As in the case of the Sacramento Jubilee, if
Victoria's Jazz Festival brought so many tourist dollars there, the city
and the merchants should be clamoring to support it with dollars. If
past festival managers cannot convince them of that, then consider a
volunteer who can.

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