There will be no Maritime Rockabilly Shakedown Festival in Amherst this summer.
AMHERST – There will be no Maritime Rockabilly Shakedown Festival in Amherst this summer.
After two successful events in 2012 and 2013, organizers have decided to put the festival in hiatus for at least one year so it can regroup, attract new volunteers and work on acquiring more funding and sponsors.
“Earlier in the year we had received positive indication of major funding from various levels of government, but sadly those dollars have not come to fruition. As a not-for-profit organization, we rely on funding sources to enable the upfront costs associated with a festival of this size and nature,” organizer Davey Lee Goode said in a statement on the festival’s Facebook page.
Goode said the funding shortfall falls outside the festival’s great relationship with the Town of Amherst. He said the town has been behind the festival 100 per cent since its inception and he wants to thank the community for its support.
“The MaRS festival will continue in the future and is committed to providing a unique and high quality event presentation,” Goode said. “Taking the time to regroup and strengthen our team at this stage is a positive move for the ongoing success of the event.”
The festival, held last September, has been billed as Canada’s biggest rockabilly festival and has included some of the best rockabilly performers from both Canada and the United States.
Goode said he’s disappointed with the declining sponsorship dollars, but admitted the industry is in the middle of some very tough times in music festival funding nationally.
“It’s now time to revamp the festival model for the future,” He said. “We apologize to the artists who had made a commitment to MaRS and to the music fans who have been looking forward to this year’s event.”
Goode said there are plans to hold another event at Teazer’s this summer with headliners coming in from across North America.
Last year’s festival was honoured by the Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce last fall and more recently it received the 2013 Festival and Event Award from the Central Nova Tourist Association.
Along with music in Victoria Square and a giant tent on Victoria Street, last year’s festival also included a classic car show and numerous vendors.