MusicFest Cancelled

The Louisville Bluegrass and American MusicFest has been cancelled for 1991.

The formerly free festival may be rescheduled and moved to another venue for 1992, possibly Churchill Downs, where an admission can be charged.

Festival director Laura Price of PRIDE! Events, which produces the event, had been struggling to find a venue to produce a much scaled-down event for 1991, but time ran out on that effort.

The festival, which began as the Louisville Bluegrass Festival in 1973, was held downtown on the Belvedere and on Main Street. Funds to stage it came primarily from the Kentucky Fried Chicken company, as well as other corporations. The City of Louisville also provided money and support.

For a number of years, the event was enormously successful, drawing people from as far away as Japan, and garnering considerable national and international publicity. For some time, it was the premier event on the bluegrass circuit.

In the mid-Eighties, however, with the ebbing of interest in bluegrass, attendance fell and KFC dropped its sponsorship. PRIDE! Events took over in 1988 and turned the festival into a muscially diversified format, modeled after music festivals in other parts of the country.

Money remained a problem, however, and the 1990 festival finished in the red, despite, or perhaps because of, attracting over 100,000 people to the Belvedere over the Labor Day weekend.

A non-profit corporation, called the Lousville Music Fund, Inc., has been formed to find financing for the festival.