CAPC OKs additional $13K for Folk Fest

Thursday, July 22, 2021

The Eureka Springs City Advertising and Promotion Commission is spending a little more money on this year’s Folk Festival.

At a special called meeting on Monday afternoon, the commission heard from event promoter Nancy Paddock. Paddock said another promoter has already booked a show for Saturday night in the Auditorium, so she’s working on securing shows on Thursday and Friday.

Paddock said well-known folk musician Greg Brown is open to performing and shouldn’t charge more than $8,000. Brown’s show would take place on Thursday night and it would be free to the public, Paddock said, to encourage everyone to get to town earlier in the week.

“Greg Brown is a folkie who was really well-known in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s,” Paddock said. “He’s basically retired now, but I think he has enough following he would pull from other states. Whether it would be a big enough draw to bring people in on Thursday night, I don’t know.”

To have a full festival, Paddock said, the commission would need to host a show on Friday night. Paddock said she’s working to book local and regional acts to play in Basin Spring Park throughout the weekend. Paddock suggested bringing in Jonathan Byrd and Melissa Carper, internationally known folk artists, to play on Friday night in the Auditorium. She said they would charge $3,000 each, totaling $6,000 for the one show.

Paddock said the Basin Park Hotel has offered to donate the Barefoot Ballroom to be used for the Barefoot Ball. If the commission accepts the donation, Paddock said, it should cost around $350 to set up the event. In total, Paddock said, it should cost an extra $13,000 to offer the free show on Thursday night and the other show on Friday night.

“Is it worth it to put more heads in beds on Thursday night or not?” Paddock said. “That’s up to you. I’m not sure whether it would work or not.”

“We know that it’s taking a risk, but we also know that we’re trying to cultivate earlier bookings and the CAPC is not here to make a profit,” said commissioner Harry Meyer. “We’re here to draw people to down.”

Paddock said there’s money in a CAPC bank account from the 2019 Folk Festival when the event turned a profit. The commission ran the festival that year.

“We could use that money,” Paddock said. “Just a little extra money would probably make it work really well.”

Commissioner Carol Wright moved to approve additional funding for the Folk Festival totaling $13,000, with $8,000 from the profit made at the 2019 Folk Festival and $5,000 from the contingency fund. The commission unanimously agreed to do so.

“We’re excited,” said chairman Jeff Carter. “I hope everyone comes on Thursday and has a great time.”

“I think we’ll have a great show on Thursday,” Paddock said. “With this, we can make it work really well. I don’t have to make dollars out of dimes.”

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