Financial challenges cancel Cityfolk Festival

Declining ticket sales and sponsorships has forced the cancellation of Dayton’s Cityfolk Festival.

Organizers said Tuesday Cityfolk will not conduct a festival in 2014 and will discontinue the residency program, Culture Builds Community.

Cityfolk has also withdrawn from its anticipated partnership with the Dayton Art Institute.

"Even prior to last year's festival, we were realizing declining ticket sales, sponsorships, and government support," said Matt Dunn, Cityfolk board president. "The rain that devastated last year's festival put us in a deeper hole and sped up our process for making changes, including having a fund-raising campaign, while also letting go of some staff."

Staff reductions have also occurred.

“Many festival-goers didn’t realize we were a non-profit organization with a full-time staff and year-round programming,” Dunn said in a release. “The festival costs money to produce and we couldn’t continue to offer it for free.”

Dunn said while suspending normal operations will allow the organization to down-size, there is hope Cityfolk will not go away completely.

An all-volunteer-led Cityfolk will use the coming weeks to assess its options to continue presenting jazz, for which it has an endowment to help cover the costs, the release said.

“Cityfolk is committed to keeping this money in the community and using it for the purpose for which it was intended,” Dunn said.

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