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Summerfest 2003 Attendance Down

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — Attendance at this year's Summerfest showed an 11 percent drop in attendance from last year's 1,013,182 patrons. Attendance this year was 905,135.

"I think the economy is forcing people to stay home," Summerfest executive director Bo Black told the Milwaukee Sentinel. "I know that people with families, it's hard to afford anything right now, other than the basic necessities of life. I thought people who come maybe four times might come one or two times this year.

"We've had the best of entertainment in the world here," Black told WISN 12 News. "We've had more entertainers in Milwaukee, Wis., for 11 days than anyplace in the universe so I'm very proud of that and I really feel good this year. People have been especially kind, saying 'thank you, good job.' The people of Milwaukee, I love you," Black said.

Black has been Summerfest's executive director since 1984. Behind the scenes, there is speculation that this might be Black's last year. She is negotiating a new five-year contract; her current contract expires at the end of this year. – By Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner.