MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Jubilee Cityfest 2011 is in the books, and organizers are calling it a huge success. They say the festival was in the black this year, although official numbers won't be released until later this week.
James Belton, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said they couldn't be more pleased with the turnout. The outdoor setting exploded from day one.
"We did better with gate receipts that day than both days last year," Belton said.
The sunny skies helped drive up attendance during the weekend, and so did the musical acts. But Belton says securing an act like Bruno Mars wasn't easy.
"The outdoor concerts, I'm not going to say they're a thing a past, but it is hard to get good talent to come in and do outdoor concerts," Belton said.
The venue, though, isn't the only thing organizers will have to overcome when planning next year's cityfest. The biggest battle will be funding.
Belton said, "With so many organizations looking for money, there are only so many sources and so many places we can find it."
And the list is getting shorter. For the second year, the City of Montgomery did not contribute cash, only in-kind services like the venue, police, and security. Also, state tourism dollars enjoyed this year are not guaranteed for next year. In fact, Belton says, they're not counting on it.
He said, "With all the proration going on, we're not sure it's going to be there. But we bring people to town, they spend money, and it helps our tax base. Hopefully they will look at it from the standpoint that we are contributing something and will decide to give us a few more bucks."