Cancelled Stan Rogers music festival gets financial help

The Stan Rogers Folk Festival, a summer staple in Canso, N.S., faces serious financial woes after being cancelled due to the impending storm.

P.E.I. concerts covering cost of flying in overseas musicians

Dave Corkum of Sound Systems Plus, said they won't charge for the cancellation this year. (CBC)

The Stan Rogers Folk Festival, a summer staple in Canso, N.S., faces serious financial woes after being cancelled due to the impending storm.

The three-day festival was supposed to begin July 4 but with Hurricane Arthur set to hit the Atlantic Coast on Friday, thousands of visitors are out of luck. Arthur will likely be a tropical storm when it hits Nova Scotia. 

Even more upset are the festival planners, who are still on the hook for one-third of the festival’s $500,000 cost.

This is the first time the festival has been cancelled in 17 years.

"A third of the costs remain, but none of the revenue does,” said Troy Greencorn, the artistic director of Stanfest.

Stanfest's organizer hopes a mid-summer festival will enjoy better weather. (CBC)

He consulted with Environment Canada before calling off the festival.

Stanfest’s technical director Dave Corkum of Sound Systems Plus has been with the festival since its start.

He said they won’t be charging for the cancellation this year.

"It's a lot of labour, so it's a loss,” he said. “But we want to see it through to the future. I think that we can hold a few dollars back and move on with our lives and hopefully do the festival next year."

Concert assistance

On P.E.I., Garrison Hill Entertainment, a Newfoundland company, is hosting two concerts to cover the cost of getting some of the musicians to Nova Scotia from overseas. 

Garrison Hill Entertainment represents several international artists who were scheduled to play at the festival. 

Shelley Chase, the owner of Garrison Hill Entertainment, said they support the festival's decision.

"It left us with nine people from the U.K. with nowhere to go [and] a loss of revenue," said Chase.

She said the Festival of Small Hallsfound a venue for the shows. 

The Saturday concert at Long Creek Baptist Church is being billed "A Category 5 Ceilidh." It features performers The Outside Track, The Rua MacMillan Trio and Sam Carter.

The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse in Charlottetown also called to say they had a venue available Sunday night.

Their website says 100 per cent of the proceeds of the concert will go to the artists in support of their tour expenses due to the cancellation of the Stan Rogers Folk Festival.

The Sunday concert will be at the Old Triangle Irish Alehouse in Charlottetown. It features the same performers as at the church as well as the Paul McKenna Band. Tickets for that show are $20 at the door.

"When you are in trouble, what do you do? You call your friends. And that is exactly what we did. And the response has been overwhelming," said Chase.

Some Islanders have even offered up their homes for accommodations for the musicians.

The Rua Macmillan Trio flew in from Scotland for Stanfest.

“Obviously safety is paramount in these occasions so we're totally behind Troy and the team there,” said fiddle player Rua Macmillan.

He said the support for the festival is a “testament to the folk community.”

Greencorn says some people have asked to forgo their refund in exchange for tickets to next year’s festival. 

“Or in other cases, [said] just don't worry about it consider it a donation,” he said.

The Rua Macmillan Trio is already talking to Greencorn about playing at next year's festival, which Greencorn says will happen because of the support the festival is seeing.