Butte sets stage for second annual Montana Folk Festival
August 30, 2011
It's official: The Montana Folk Festival is a go, with organizers pledging to present the festival in Butte for the next three years. The second annual Montana Folk Festival is set for July 13-15, 2012.
Eric "Fingers" Ray at the 2008 National Fok Festival in Butte. Dave Reese photo
"With more than a month of evaluation of the impacts of the event on our community and region, reviewing comments and gauging community support, the board of Mainstreet Uptown Butte and the Montana Folk Festival Executive Committee have voted to move forward with a three-year commitment," said George Everett, Executive Director of Mainstreet Uptown Butte.
"The serious work of assembling a lineup that can top this past summer's roster and to start putting together the sponsorships that will ensure its success begins in earnest today," added Everett.
According to Everett, there was skepticism that the festival could make the transition from the National to a sustainable Montana version.
"I believe that we succeeded beyond expectations to remain true to a successful program and present a rich and varied range of performers from throughout the country while focusing on an aspect of Montana's heritage," said Everett. Based on overwhelmingly positive reaction from visitors, Everett said, the crowds will only continue to grow and grow.
Mainstreet Uptown Butte Board Chair Tom Staples added "We have reduced the annual cost of the event by about half a million dollars, but we still have to raise about $900,000 to produce this event -- starting today."
According to Staples, the festival returns about $25 to our community and state for every $1 invested in the event.
The 2011 festival drew about 140,000 attendees over the three-day event, proving itself an economic engine for Butte, Southwest Montana, and as a driver of tourism for the state of Montana.