A news release from the festival planners
circulated a few weeks ago informed the community that there will be
significant changes to the scheduling of the events in 2015. See
the news release here:
The announcement of these changes has brought
some positive comments from the community on Facebook:
- Splitting this monstrous event into four
weekends is a brave and brilliant move on behalf of the ABF
committee. Yes, it will take A LOT of creativity, target
marketing and hard work on behalf of individual event
organizers, but the potential rewards of four weekends of
out-of-town money spent in our town cannot be denied.
The artists and crafters who purchase a booth space have to make
a net profit that not only justifies their time and travel
expenses, but will allow them to net more at our event rather
than the hundreds of other events they could choose from that
weekend. In order to attract a wide variety of high-quality fine
artists, we must assure them that locals will purchase from
them, and the event will draw traffic and dollars from a wide
geography. Consumers who buy art and enjoy wine and craft beer
are typically not the same crowd that enjoys BBQ, nor do they
tend to be the same crowd who will pay $5 to park in a field and
watch a balloon launch and glow.
Limited marketing dollars can now be allocated to target those
vendors and consumers who are most likely to spend money at a
this adds to the quality of life for the locals. When
was the last year you were able to enjoy EVERY Art &
Balloon Festival event? It's impossible.
Change IS difficult to swallow, especially when an event
has become a tradition for your and your family. But I
assure you, CHANGE IS GOOD. I firmly believe that this
change will make Lincoln and Logan County stronger for
the decades to come.
Hi [name withheld] -
I totally agree with the move, each of these events have a
very diverse group of attendees. Just because people are in
attendance doesn't mean that they are customers. Fine art
events are more difficult to establish and pairing it with
the Wine event is a natural. The art part of the Balloon
Fest has been flat ( as far as sales) for the past few
years. I recently move to Des Moines and 5 hours to drive to
a marginal show probably won't happen, especially with major
shows in Springfield and Peoria.
[name withheld]. And--yes!--I too think this is a great move
for our community.
Thank you [name
withheld] for your insight!!!
I wish you luck.
Don't want any of it to fail but I don't have a positive
feeling like others.
[name withheld], I
think [name withheld] raises a lot of good points. Wine and
art are a natural pair. Personally we never went to the
other events just the Art one. I wish everyone the best.
It will work.
[to top of second column]
Hi [name withheld], I
agree with everyone...it is a wonderful thing to see a community
to come together and offer soooo many diverse opportunities to
have an enjoyable time....but that is also the downfall. We had
begun to feel like there was so much that people...
[name withheld], I love
I think it's worth a
try. There is no way to see and enjoy everything in one
hundreds of miles MUST make money when they devote their
entire weekend to one festival. If they don't break even, or
if the opportunity cost of choosing our event over another
event works against them, then they won't come back, despite
how many awards they win or nice comments they receive. They
depend on local people and out-of-town visitors to buy. When
all these events (i.e. opportunities to spend money) are
crammed into one weekend, the artists' share of the dollar
dwindles. What are your thoughts [name withheld]?
In addition to the positive comments on
Facebook from the community, festival planners have received support
from event organizers like Chris Graue, the event organizer for the
“Up in Smoke” barbeque competition. He said, “We've all got
something to be proud of...VERY PROUD OF! These events bring an
enormous amount of money, people, and recognition to Lincoln and
Logan County.” Graue remarked concerning the changes to the 2015
schedule, “This decision was not taken lightly and was approved with
long consideration taking all aspects, both good and bad, into
consideration. The committee that was assigned the task of
exploring this possibility thought long and hard to make sure it was
approached correctly. This was not taken lightly.” Graue
enthusiastically said, “We currently have over 40 professional level
teams registered, more than 10 backyard teams and are estimating
over 70 total teams will be Competing in downtown Lincoln during the
4th annual “Up in Smoke on the Square.” Our committee is
looking forward to our biggest year yet!”
The organizers, which includes a Festival
Steering Committee that reviews plans each year based on input from
the community, have made plans on how to bring the community in on
what changes will be made. A luncheon was hosted two weeks ago for
downtown merchants to weigh in on the process.
Always observing the needs of the community and
how to improve the events, organizers have more plans in place
following this year's event to engage with the community on the
Lincoln Daily News supports the efforts of the
Festival planners and the event organizers with faith and trust that
their planning will make future festivals successful.
Chamber hosts luncheon for downtown merchants