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What a Pissing Match!

The Bayfront Blues Festival is leaving Duluth.

According to news release, for financial and business reasons, the festival “has accepted an offer to conduct the Blues Festival at a location minutes from downtown Duluth but outside of the Duluth city limits. Bayfront Blues Festival is excited and grateful to continue its event of 18 years at a new location.”

Blues Festival spokesman and attorney Michael W. Lien said he understands that the new location will be announced in the next few days.

The announcement comes as Duluth administrators and Bayfront Blues Festival President Chris Mackey wrangle over potential fees and taxes owed to the city. City Attorney Bryan Brown said he will take Mackey to court if he doesn’t provide financial documents for an exhaustive audit of the festival.

Mackey and new Bayfront Festival Park director Craig Samborski have also been unable to agree on the terms for this year’s festival.

Lien’s news release said Samborski and the city are asking for more than $60,000 in fees — up from $22,000 in 2006.

“Bayfront Blues Festival, Inc., does not feel it has sufficient time to complete negotiations with Secret Service Entertain-ment, LLC, for the use of Bayfront Park for the 2007 Festival,” the release said.

However, the release said the decision to move the Blues Festival is a financial decision and “is not related to the Duluth City Council’s continuing negotiations with Secret Service Entertainment, LLC, pertaining to the management of Bayfront Festival Park.”


i'm not really sure what to think...really...except to be a little sad for the rest of the events that follow...

on one hand, don't all businesses get audited...eventually? I mean, the event is held on city property, so it'd be the city's prerogative to periodically peruse the festival's financials just to keep up with the up and up...right?

Maybe I'm not up to speed on that...it sounds logical...unless said language wasn't included in the original contract.

The fee increase...well, how many people actually attend this thing every year? Park areas of similar size and location with comparable amenities run for much MUCH more...so a use/rental increase is probably long overdue...maybe not by that margin but hey, we've got one hell of a city employee health care liability to pay down.

Then there's the beer sales...it's like a can o worms or some shit...almost confusing. Tam might be able to provide some insight as to the inner workings of that..in fact, she could do quite well putting it into layman's terms...she's dealt with that before...

IMO, taking into account that we don't know yet where the new venue's going to be, the move will kill the fest inside of five years...Bayfront has a huge advantage over any other location around because these festgoers like to drink, they like to party, the love to eat and they spend a ton of money doing so...the highest concentration of those types of services is located downtown.

Holy hell, this'll hurt places like the Fetus...one of their biggest sales weekends is Blues Fest...

What's it all for? Mackey called the city's bluff...

damn..and it's so hard to find blues in this town. Oh and WATER GARDEN WATER GARDEN WATER GARDEN WATER GARDEN WATER GARDEN WATER GARDEN and viking themed period festival....then, the city will want a portion of all looting and mead sales

see ya!
I believe the Blues Fest will be reborn at the new venue.
Although part of the draw was the park and water blah blah blah but what it's really about is the music.
Having it on city owned property is like having your uptight judgmental parents accompany you to the concert.

Fuck that. Proctor, here we come!! Whoooooooooooooo hoooooooooooooo!

This will be a windfall for cabdrivers. A cab ride from the Bluesfest (wherever it is) to downtown will cost at least $20, and there won't be a fleet of irritating city-run schoolbuses shuttling people around to the bars. Everybody will have to take cabs, just like God intended.

Buffalo House...oh yeah, this is gonna suck.


hey, at least I won't be kept awake til all hours by irritating blues that weekend. If I want that, I'll listen to KBLUEMD.


Craig Samborski says he's "disappointed" that Bluesfest had decided to leave...he should be looking in the mirror, he's part of the reason it's gone.

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