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Blues Fest tallies not yet complete

June 08, 2004|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

Western Maryland Blues Fest's financial successes or losses will not be known for at least two weeks as officials tally revenues and wait for a determination on rain insurance claims, City of Hagerstown spokeswoman Karen Giffin said Monday.

Because rain fell on Friday evening and throughout the day Saturday, the city filed an insurance claim against a policy it bought earlier this year to offset lost ticket and beverage sales due to weather, Giffin said.

This year's policy is worth as much as $45,000, Giffin said. She said insurance officials have said it will be two weeks before they determine whether enough rain fell for the city to collect on the policy.

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Last year, the city bought insurance against rain only for Saturday's events. While many of the headlining acts were rained out for the 2003 event, the city did not collect insurance money because the policy required that 1/2 inch of rainfall be measured at the airport.

This year, the city insured against 1/3 inch of rain on Friday evening and 1/4 inch over most of the day Saturday, Giffin said. The policy cost about $5,000.

No events were canceled this year due to the rain, although one performance was shifted to a different stage Saturday, and Sunday's events - which were free - were relocated from City Park to downtown.

Giffin said music festival officials met or exceeded their goals in three areas of fund-raising. Corporate fund-raising brought in $78,000, $6,300 more than planned. Private donations were $13,412, $1,041 more than planned. Vendor fees met goals at about $7,000, she said.

Giffin said the festival, which is run by the city and the Washington County Arts Council, makes money on ticket sales, sponsorships, alcohol sales, grants and vendor fees.

The money pays for the musicians and lodging, sound equipment, tents, fencing and marketing, Giffin said. She said the city also donates some services, including police protection.

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