Thursday, May 3, 2012

City Support for Summer Festivals

Last night, the Common Council Arts, Entertainment, and Tourism Committee heard requests for funding from the representatives of two summer events: Rich Volo, president of the Hudson Pride Foundation, seeking support for Pride Weekend, June 15 through 17; and Chad Weckler, one of the organizers of the Hudson Music Fest, seeking support for that event scheduled for August 9 through 12. The committee unanimously agreed to contribute $1,500 to Pride Weekend, specifically for Family Pride Day on Sunday, June 17. The committee also agreed to give $500 to the Hudson Music Fest to, as Council President Don Moore put it, "show that the City is in." 

By the committee's calculations, $1,000 is left in the AET budget. In addition to the grants made last night to Pride Weekend and the Hudson Music Fest, the committee has made the following appropriations:
  • $10,000 for Hudson.Water.Music--every Wednesday from July 18 to August 15
  • $1,500 for the Bangladeshi Festival--Labor Day weekend
  • $1,500 for the Black Arts and Culture Festival--August 10, 11, 12 


  1. I have no idea what "Hudson.Water.Music" is. After following the link it appears to be a single band.

    But another way to advertise the same schedule is: appearing in Hudson this summer "for 5 Wednesdays."

    That's $10,000 for 5 appearances, which comes to $2K per gig.

    For that money I think we can get 'KC and the Sunshine Band' and 'Foghat' for 2 Thursdays. I'll make some phone calls ...

  2. Relax, unheimlich. This is the same summer event series that was done last year, produced by Rob Caldwell from Musica. It is not one band appearing several times. It's different groups, and more than one group each Wednesday. (Wednesday being chosen because it doesn't conflict with a lot of other things going on.) Caldwell produced the series last year, and it was a great success, which is why he is doing it again this year. I don't think the site has been updated in a while, so it was probably a mistake on my part to provide the link.

    Besides, there is much more involved in producing on outdoor concert than simply paying the performers.

  3. The ethnic events listed strike me as more economical and perfectly reasonable at $1500. These were well attended in the past.

    Since I can't find past years' Arts, Entertainment, and Tourism Committee budgets in a Register Star search, I can't judge whether Hudson is learning to cut back in its entertainments in the current economic climate.

    Has anyone studied whether these evening events really bring in more revenue than if we'd done nothing, or perhaps offered something else? Or do these decisions come down to custom, or a couple of people's intuition and say-so?

    $10K is a lot of dough. With longtime Hudson homeowners being driven out by rising taxes, I notice that we're not cutting back in other areas.

  4. unheimlich: Hudson.Water.Music is a City of Hudson event. It is entirely city sponsored. Concert series sponsored by the City of Hudson have been going on since the late 1990s. Early on, they took place in the park in front of the courthouse and in other places around town. Now they happen at riverfront park.

    The ethnic festivals are not "city events." They are sponsored by other entities--for example, Operation Unite sponsors the Black Arts and Culture Festival--and the contribution that City makes to such an event is only part of the event's total budget.

  5. Rob Caldwell received an additional $250 from County Tourism, an award that is distributed through AET. Carole you had the right link, you just have to click on Schedule to see the 2012 line-up. Let's face it, you don't divide $10K into each band and figure all that production, promotion and support is forgotten and you give the bands the entire budget!

    Each mass gathering permit also requires an event organization to obtain liability insurance.

    Local festivals have been proven to boost local economies.

  6. "Local festivals have been proven to boost local economies."

    Well, if you say so.