CALGARY (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Organizers for the Calgary Jazz Festival, were forced to pull the plug on the event a mere hours before the gates were set to open, due to financial woes, casting doubt on the future of the event.
According to The Calgary Herald, event organizers held a six-hour emergency meeting on Saturday, during which it was determined that the festival didn't have sufficient cash on hand to pay day-to-day expenses or artist fees for some of the scheduled headliners, which included Chick Corea and Ben E. King.
"We decided the lesser of the two evils was to pull the plug now, rather than halfway through the festival," festival interim president Richard Sherry told the Herald. "We feel sick about it."
Event organizers are still working to resolve how to handle the canceled performance contracts and provide refunds for ticket holders.
The festival attracted controversy in the lead-up to the event. The previous year was financially challenging and left the festival with a considerable amount of red ink and organizers had hoped this year to stage a scaled back event and bank some cash. However, in the lead up to this year's event, former festival board president Henry Beaumont said that instead of a conservative approach combined with a corporate funding drive, there were ambitious artist bookings and expenses.
"There was a lack of co-operation." Sherry added. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers