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.”