During the last week of September in 2015, I was dodging the rain clouds like everyone else on the lower Eastern Seaboard. I was at the Ancient Tones-New Sounds Festival in Union Grove, N.C., where a prolonged storm system continued to pound The Carolinas. The end result was a low turnout for the first-ever music festival, a fate that hit many other similar events that weekend. It rained for many days in a row, and being dry and warm inside was the decision of most music fans.
As the next week unfolded, the rain pattern stayed in place as the annual IBMA World of Bluegrass convention got underway in Raleigh. As a result, the weekend Wide Open Bluegrass street Festival had to be moved indoors to the Raleigh Convention Center. As IBMA week began, word got out that the last two days of the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival had to be canceled completely.
When a festival is rained out or the weather keeps the audience numbers low, the bands still get paid and the expenses pile up. Many festivals that took place that weekend, like the Ancient Tones-New Sounds Festival, had no choice but to take the next year off and regroup. Read entire article »