Festival #5: April 24, 25, 1981
News Chief - Sunday, April 28, 1981
festival fun despite no-shows
Maynard of Tampa and Martin Decato of Lakeland jam
a little on the banjo while waiting for their turn
to perform during the annual Auburndale Florida State
- The first place prize may have been double that of
last year's, but it wasn't enough to attract the bands
expected for this weekend's Florida State Championship
Bluegrass Festival on Lake Ariana.
could say I'm a little disappointed", said promoter
d of the expected 20 bands, only eight performed
the same number that played last year when first
prize was $500 and the festival was held at Auburndale's
downtown city park.
crowd also was disappointing.
hoped for 5,000 people. Instead, an estimated 1,000
people turned out for the two-day event .
complained of the same problem Auburndale's city
fathers aired last year - the festival is a losing
say I'm out $1,500 already," Needham said Saturday.
weekend's fifth annual Auburndale bluegrass competition
almost never happened.
Auburndale City Commissioners decided in January
not to sponsor the festival because it didn't make
enough money. Last year, it netted about $2,000.
an independent Eagle Lake promoter, agreed in March
to cosponsor this year's competition with Auburndale
resident Carl Allen after several people complained
of the festival's death.
back a known money loser?
did it to help the senior citizens," Needham said.
$1,000 Needham advanced Auburndale for use of the
city beach, and a 25 percent cut on ticket sales
are earmarked for improvements to the Auburndale
senior citizen building.
Black Mountain Cloggers of Auburndale danced up
Chief photos by
appears the senior citizens will be the only winners.
Needham doubted Saturday whether he would make a
spectators speculated why more people and bands didn't
bluegrass enthusiast from Tampa said another festival
this weekend in Lawtey probably attracted many people who
otherwise might have come to Auburndale.
was another factor.
Auburndale resident, who didn't want to be identified,
said the festival may have been too expensive.
the people who came to the festival said they enjoyed
the show. The weather was beautiful and there was
nonstop bluegrass music.