Bluegrass Music Fest Gets Go-Ahead for Second Year in Bellevue
Maysefest will return for a second year in Bellevue, the city council decided Wednesday night.
Organizer Ben Haggerty spoke to the council Wednesday and requested an encore for the bluegrass music festival that debuted last year during Columbus Day Weekend. In 2014, the event will expand to two days.
Haggerty said 2013's budget ended up being just over $32,000 and that he and his partner lost seven grand on the event. "That being said, we did raise over a thousand dollars for the Bellevue School system," he said.
The festival's return would also raise money for the school district's music program. "A community this small with a standalone school district with a music program is unheard of and should be supported," Haggerty said.
The expansion to two days, a Friday night and Saturday all-day event, would allow for better promotion, more sponsorships, and increased revenue through the sales of food and alcohol, Haggerty said.
"That's a lot to ask of city services, the community, and the neighbors that are right there," he said. "I can say, the houses in question in the immediate area, we did everything we could (to accommodate them). We would only be asking for similar services."
Maysefest attracted 2,500 people to Bellevue Beach Park and feedback from shop owners on Fairfield Avenue to organizers of the event was positive.
Feedback from council on Wednesday was also positive. Councilwoman Kathy Almoslechner said she was happy to see that it was a family-friendly event while Councilman Steve Guidugli noted all the former Bellevue residents that returned for the music festival.
"I didn't realize that many people from Bellevue liked Bluegrass music," Guidugli said. "Everybody I hadn't seen in twenty years was there." Mayor Ed Riehl said Maysefest was "a good event" and "well organized".
"I think you'd be surprised at the percentage of attendants from outside the community," Haggerty said. "2,500 people attended. For a first-year event, we're pretty happy with that."
Maysefest was named for Banger Mayes, a longtime resident of Grants Lick in Campbell County who traveled nearly every state in the union in support and appreciation of Bluegrass & American Roots music. Bands and boat tours were part of last year's festivities.
Last Columbus Day Weekend, Maysefest was blessed with a perfect sky and weather. "The odds of me getting another eighty-degree day on a Saturday in October are probably not great, but we'll give it a shot," Haggerty said.
Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News
Photo: Maysefest/RCN file