After much deliberation and hand-wringing, we’ve decided to cancel the 2009 Capt. Thornton Tampa Bay Local Music Festival, and instead aim for a launch date of November 6, 2010. Overall, while there was great interest in the festival among area musicians and music lovers, we greatly over-estimated the level of support we could expect from the local municipalities (who genuinely seemed alarmed at the idea of hosting a festival dedicated to local music). In short, with less than three months to our projected festival date, we have exhausted our list of possible locations, and have no reasonable expectation that a suitable site can be found.
This certainly does not mean we’re abandoning the idea. Perhaps we were simply over-reaching this first year, losing many months of possible preparation while simple waiting for local municipalities to break from their lethargy and get back to us with their decisions. In short, the people whom we most need to pacify to make the festival possible in 2009 are those most likely to proceed at a glacial pace. Therefore, even if we could satisfy their many requirements for locating the festival in places like Vinoy Park in Saint Petersburg, or Coachman Park in Clearwater, or even arrange something with the ghosts who seem to be running Jannus Landing at the moment, it would leave little time for actual preparation.
Rather than establish what we hope will be an annual event with a half-assed production that would cripple the spirit of the festival, it simply makes more sense to wait until next year. That leaves us plenty of time to lay the groundwork for establishing the festival properly, for advertising the festival and getting it into the general public consciousness, for rallying support from various powerful local allies, as well as satisfying the random requirements of the St. Petersburg Parks & Recreation Department in regard to securing Vinoy Park (our location of choice) for the event.
In short, we are far from defeated. This is a strategic withdrawal. From here we will regroup and redeploy, and will follow my long-held motto; “Over, under, or through”. This will be.
I want to thank those who supported this effort. Some of you know how frustrating the general apathy in certain quarters have been for us. Many offers of aid, whether material, logistical or in shared contacts, simply did not materialize. But those who supported this effort surely must know how greatly it was appreciated. Your continued efforts and support will be greatly needed as we set our sights for our 2010 target date, aiming to create a rare festival that showcases nothing but local music, arts and crafts.
All of us involved in this project looking forward to talking with in the months to come. Rest assured that by the time Nov. 6, 2010 is approaching, this festival will be a reality.
Walk in light and peace.
– Wicasta Lovelace