Thursday, July 10, 2008

City, Blues Fest reach tentative agreement

The Bayfront Blues Festival will stay at its home in Bayfront Festival Park through 2010 under a tentative three-year agreement announced Tuesday by Mayor Don Ness and event organizers.
“This agreement ensures that one of Duluth’s premier events will remain at Bayfront Park,” Mayor Ness said. “It also establishes a cooperative relationship between festival organizers and the City. Duluthians are rightfully proud of the success of the Blues Festival, which is a tremendous showcase for our city and a great event for residents and visitors alike.”
Under terms of the agreement, Bayfront Blues Festival, Inc. will pay the City $25,000 in rent for each year of the deal in 2008, 2009 and 2010. In addition to the rent agreement, the City has agreed to dismiss a contested lawsuit regarding ticket accounting filed by the City last year. The proposed settlement allows the Festival to allocate $5,000 of the rent due in 2008 to resolve the lawsuit. The Festival had previously voluntarily paid a missing stage rental fee from 2006 in April, 2008, as soon as the discrepancy was discovered. The proposed settlement allows both parties to avoid any further legal costs. The City of Duluth and Bayfront Blues Festival, Inc., are both extremely pleased with the amicable resolution of the pending lawsuit.
“These agreements, along with a renewed partnership with City Hall, will assure the festival remains at Bayfront for the foreseeable future,” organizer Chris Mackey said. “We are very happy to be able to put this issue behind us and focus our energy on running the festival at its traditional home.”
Both the Duluth City Council and the Duluth Economic Development Authority (DEDA) must approve the agreement. DEDA’s approval is necessary because the tentative agreement allows parking on land owned by the authority.
The 20th Annual Bayfront Blues Festival is scheduled for August 7-10, 2008.