2010’s Top IBMA Festival Scrubbed for 2013

Image635016057797593109A message posted yesterday on the home page for the Podunk Bluegrass Festival is not welcome news for the many fans.

The message announces the cancellation of the 2013 Podunk Bluegrass Festival with instructions for ticket refunds.


Executive Director Roger Moss, who is also Norwich’s recreation director, confirmed the cancellation Sunday,telling the Norwich Bulletin that lingering uncertainty about the costs and location doomed the festival.

The festival has been homeless since its planned location of Dodd Stadium fell through. The stadium’s first priority is the Connecticut Tigers, who have home games the weekend of the festival and can’t change their schedule. Unknown costs and unsecured permissions have kept organizers from making a commitment to alternate sites within the city, Moss said.

The fact that we’re making this decision so late tells you it was a hard decision, and one we didn’t think lightly on,” Moss said. “The decision was definitely difficult and not one the board wanted to make, but at this point, we wanted to give the bands an opportunity to find other places to play and not hold them up.”

Thirteen bands and performers were booked for the festival, including popular artists Tony Trischka and Claire Lynch, according to the festival’s website, which was updated Sunday to reflect the cancellation.

Festival organizers say they expect to hold the festival in 2014, and Moss said they are once again looking at Dodd Stadium.

This would have been the 18th year of the Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival. The festival was named the top concert of its kind in 2010 by the International Bluegrass Music Association and has many loyal fans, Moss said, which gives the group hope for a renewed spirit in 2014.

We have some people who have already bought tickets for this year tell us to hold onto their tickets for 2014, and that’s promising. People know us, believe in us and want to see it happen again,” Moss said.

Moss said the uncertainty likely contributed to smaller than usual ticket sales numbers this year. Numbers dropped from previous years when the festival moved from East Hartford to Norwich last year, and numbers were down again this year. Moss said he hopes the trepidation doesn’t affect sales in 2014.

Anytime you do something like this, there’s a chance to lose people. They say, ‘You canceled once, what’s to keep you from canceling again?’ ”

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