More on LAAFF: Organizers face $10K-$15K shortfall after new pub crawl event

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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LAAFF scene by John Fletcher/Asheville Citizen-Times

Arts2People is the nonprofit that sponsored this year’s rollicking LAAFF and ran it as a fundraiser for its own arts initiatives. The organization’s executive director, Jennifer Gordon,  states that “logistical problems” in ticketing for this year’s Saturday pub crawl event resulted in lower-than-expected income for an event that promised to pay all 68 of its bands, for the first year ever.

The result? A $10K-$15K shortfall that unless it’s addressed, might knock out LAAFF 2013 and end Arts2People programming in 2012. LAAFF now seeks community donations to get its programming back on track.

Jason has the scoop over at the AC-T:

But this year’s event didn’t generate the income it needed to cover a new expense — paying the 68 bands that performed.

The bands have been paid, Gordon said. Most were guaranteed $150 this year, the first year the event paid musicians. It was a move that fits the nonprofit’s mission of supporting working artists. But logistical problems at some venues during a Saturday night pub crawl resulted in lower-than-expected revenues, Gordon said.

“Ticketing was difficult and as a result, we didn’t generate the income we wanted to to cover that expense,” said Gordon, who has been making a public plea for donations on Facebook.

Without the money, the nonprofit may have to suspend its programming for the rest of the year and may not be able to stage LAAFF next year, Gordon said.

“A lot of times, Arts2People doesn’t get any credit for what we do,” Gordon said, “and it’s hard when the executive director can’t even make a living. I’ve worked for Arts2People for nothing this year.”

Read the full article here.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. Patty September 12, 2012

    Where’s the free market for Asheville artists?

  2. Jen Gordon September 8, 2012

    Our only intention with this whole event is to celebrate every aspect of the cultural domain that makes Asheville such an amazing town. I guess I’m an optimist to think that all artists deserve to get paid what they are worth and that attendees will be willing to help support that endeavor. Despite the problems that everyone has pointed out and the error of our ways, I will continue to trudge through the mire in order to provide opportunities for artists. I’m just a glutton for punishment.

    1. Eric September 8, 2012

      Every local I speak to considers LAAFF to be the premier Asheville festival. I appreciate all the hard work and time you put into it, and I sincerely hope that it continues to evolve. Your festival is far more representative of the Asheville that I know and love than any other event that happens in our fair city.

      It’s a shame that Bele Chere gets all the attention, money, and support while I don’t know a single local who gets anything out of it. LAAFF brings the right sort of fun, attention, and dollars to local artists and businesses.

      Don’t lose hope, Jen! Appeal to the community, and I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the response.

  3. Michael September 7, 2012

    IMHO, the logistics were not realistic. Nobody is going to pay ten bucks to get into a venue to see a band or twenty dollars to get into all venues involved in the pub crawl when there is a band on an outdoor stage playing at the same time as the venues. It is a street festival. Plus you had multiple acts occurring at different venues at the same time. No one could hope to get their money’s worth out of the experience involving the pub crawl. A lower price point per venue and overall would have generated better internal sales at the venues. Also, the establishment involved could elect to pay artists a portion of the door charge instead of a flat rate. Put the ball in their court for upping attendance. @ Jason W, artists of all types should strive to be compensated for their art, not give it away. I myself have dedicated countless hours crafting mine, and I surely am not about to go pro bono. I like the quote, “My band is too expensive? Call up the plumbers union and ask for five of them to come out and work on a Saturday night from 9 pm til 1 am and let me know what the bill is.”

  4. stacey September 6, 2012

    JML: Shhhhh!
    They don’t want anyone to know this!

  5. JML September 6, 2012

    why does everything have to revolve around alcohol? alcohol is one of the WORST drugs out there. It ruins peoples lives and relationships, and now it is ruining a music and arts festival. Maybe it’s time to rethink this stupid drug, pushed by a corporate government to dumb down the population.

    1. Doug Sahm September 6, 2012

      Most people that have an alcohol problem actually just have a self-control problem. If it wasn’t alcohol, it would be something else.

    2. LAAF'ing September 7, 2012

      Oh you serious? Do you seriously believe that a festival can make or break itself based on what they choose to make available to the guests? Alcohol? I’m curious, JML, didn’t I see you at Bele Chere with a loud speaker condemning the “sinners”? You are whispering into the deaf ears of the Beer City loyals who aren’t that narrow minded or obtuse as you are. Thing is, most people at LAAF are adults, maybe with their families, who are mature enough to decide whether they wish to have an adult beverage or not. Try not to assume that everyone has issues.

  6. Jason W. September 6, 2012

    Maybe the bands should donate the money back. Join the ranks of us other performing artists that never get paid.

  7. Kipper September 6, 2012

    I should have said EXTRA 500 people to attend. I know that there were quite a few guests in the pub crawl, but it sounds as though they were expecting what I can only look at as an unreasonable amount of people.

  8. Kipper September 6, 2012

    15k shortfall seems like a lot due to a botched pub crawl. Did they expect 500 people to attend at $30 a pop?

    I’m all for Arts2People and LAAFF. In fact, I felt like this year’s laugh was the best yet, aside from the fact that I wasn’t able to work due to a MASSIVE stage set up directly across the street from my venue.

    I hope they can recover, and perhaps even scale back just a bit. Do the stages have to be so extreme? I feel like they spent a lot more on those, and the the logistical cost of operating them, than they ever spent on bands.

    Unless they were paying the bands during the pub crawl as well.

    I think Arts2People had the greatest of intentions, but their ability to reach their goals without harming themselves may have been a bit of a stretch.


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