Here’s some very good news: the 2017 Montana Folk Festival is a go.
George Everett, director of Mainstreet Uptown Butte, the lead organizer of the festival since 2008, made the announcement in a press release this morning.
“We have battled doubt and debt to a draw since July, but thanks to the widespread generosity and encouragement from supporters near and far who are not ready to let this festival disappear, we have decided to go forward,” Everett said. “The serious work of assembling a roster of talent that can top this past summer’s lineup and to start putting together the sponsorships that will ensure its success begins in earnest today.”
Readers may recall that the festival was put in jeopardy after the closing day of this year’s festival was hit with heavy rains, reducing the number of visitors and cutting deeply into the donations that are so important to funding the festival.
But the Gofundme campaign to retire debt from 2016 was successful, Everett said, and the festival has now started a new campaign for the 2017 festival, and is accepting contributions from supporters at www.gofundme.com/MFF17.
The seventh annual Montana Folk Festival is set for July 7-9, 2017. Counting the three National Folk Festivals held in Butte before the event became the Montana Folk Festival, this will be the 10th July festival held in Butte.
“We have reduced the annual cost of the event since its days as the National Folk Festival by about half a million dollars by taking on more of the heavy lifting ourselves,” Everett said. “Still, we have to raise about $250,000 of the $650,000 needed to produce this event—starting today.”
The festival returns about $25 to the Butte community and state for every $1 invested in the event. The 2016 festival drew about 140,000 attendees over three days, proving itself an economic engine for Butte, southwest Montana, and as a driver of tourism for the state of Montana.