Please Note: ArtsQuest President Jeff Parks will be at the stone arch bridge at Musikfest's Volksplatz venue at 10:45 a.m. for members of the media who wish to speak with him.
Festival Officials Launch Financial Appeal to Help Offset Losses Due to Rain and Flooding
BETHLEHEM, PA – Musikfest will remain open for its final day despite overnight flooding and heavy damages to portions of the festival grounds, ArtsQuest officials announced this morning. Changes to the festival’s programming have been made to help ensure patron safety while allowing guests to enjoy as many live performances as possible. In addition, ArtsQuest officials have launched a public appeal for funds to help offset the financial losses caused by the unprecedented severe weather during this year's Musikfest.
"Despite the rain, Musikfest remains open today, with music on all but one of our stages," said Jeff Parks. "The changes we are making are designed to help ensure the safety of our guests at the festival. In addition, we are launching a public appeal to help offset the severe financial losses this year due to the rain and flooding we have experienced."
Saturday night's storm caused the Monocacy Creek to breech its banks, flooding the Volksplatz and Handwerkplatz venues and causing major damage. ArtsQuest staff, volunteers, vendors and city officials worked overnight to deal with the flooding and will continue to secure the area and clean up the damage. As a result, Volksplatz and Handwerkplatz will not be open for the final day of Musikfest. This is the first time in the festival’s 28-year history that any of the stages or venues have been closed during the festival due to weather.
The schedule for Sun., Aug. 14 is as follows:
Musikfest at SteelStacks
The fireworks, scheduled for 9:45 p.m., are still planned but are dependent on the weather. In addition, all Musikfest transportation will continue as scheduled.
Additional changes to programming could be made depending on the today’s weather and will be posted on the festival's website, www.musikfest.org. All programming and festival changes will be made to best ensure patron safety.
With the first Musikfest that is experiencing rain on six of its 10 days, the festival is facing major financial loss.
"It is ironic that one of the reasons for the development of the ArtsQuest Center and SteelStacks campus was to spread our financial risk throughout the year, rather than depend primarily on 10 days in August," said ArtsQuest President Jeff Parks. “This year is our most vulnerable year with the opening of SteelStacks and now we are facing significant financial losses at Musikfest."
Parks added that losses for Musikfest 2011 are projected to be in excess of $750,000. For the first time in Musikfest's 28-year history, ArtsQuest is making a plea for support from the community and has announced the "Save Our Songs” Relief Fund. Donations can be made by visiting www.musikfest.org/flood. as well as the ArtsQuest member booth at Festplatz and the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks.
"We realize that these are difficult times for our community so it is with great reluctance that we seek support," Parks stated. “For 28 years, in good times and bad, we have offered everyone in our community, regardless of their financial means, a great festival and a chance to forget about the troubles of the world. Unfortunately, Mother Nature has intervened this year and has literally rained on our parade."
ArtsQuest has always put any net revenue generated from Musikfest back into arts and cultural programs for the community, including the new $26 million ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks. ArtsQuest does not have a financial reserve to support a loss of this size, Parks said.