Editor’s note: Anybody who has followed Last Best News since our founding knows that I am a big fan of the Montana Folk Festival in Butte.
I believe I once referred to it as the coolest event in the history of Montana, and I was not exaggerating. I’ve written about it on more than a few occasions, and I have also posted lots of photographs of the festival, mine own and those of Anna Paige.
And now the folk festival needs our help. Here’s the whole story, in the form of a press release from the festival. Please give it a read and then do what you can to help:
The 2016 Montana Folk Festival in Butte was drenched but not rained out on the Sunday of the festival weekend, July 10.
“After a solid Friday and Saturday, the festival was on track to break records for on-site sales, attendance and onsite donations—in fact in every area that we use to measure it,” said George Everett, festival director.
Then, on Sunday the rains came and performances were canceled on the untented venues—the Original Stage and the Granite Street Stage.
This hurt the festival because on-site revenue from beverage, food and merchandise sales were lost, especially at the Original.
“It was about a $20,000 to $25,000 hit to on-site revenues to have these stages close,” Everett said.
In addition, a shortfall in sponsorships has left an additional gap of about $25,000 to pay remaining bills. The festival sends out thousands of dollars in payments for goods and services in July and August and more is needed to meet obligations.
As a response, festival organizers have started a crowdfunding effort to fill the gap left by the 2016 shortfall.
For anyone interested in helping online they can visit www.gofundme.com/2gzqf8k or they can send contributions for the 2016 Montana Folk Festival Rain Dance Fundraiser directly to Montana Folk Festival, P.O. Box 696, Butte. MT 59703.
Festival planning for 2017 has already begun and will continue with the hope that long-time sponsors will again renew their support in the coming year so the seventh Montana Folk Festival can return on July 7-9, 2017.