Meatloaf to play Summerfest

The singer Meat Loaf is the headline act for Summerfest, Tourism Charlottetown Inc. confirmed Friday.

Charlottetown city council kicks in $25K

The singer Meat Loaf is the headline act for Summerfest, Tourism Charlottetown Inc. confirmed Friday.

Also on Friday, Charlottetown city council agreed to provide $25,000 in funding to Tourism Charlottetown for the concert to be held over the Canada Day weekend.

But council said it wants more information on how Tourism Charlottetown spends its money, and is prepared to hold back the rest its funding for this year — doling it out on a per-event basis.

The city's tourism chairman, Jason Coady, said the city wants more information about how Tourism Charlottetown spends its money.

"If we're going to write you quarterly cheques, out of the $120,000 we have set aside, we'd like some sort of comfort level on what we're going to get for those quarterly cheques," Coady said. "And right now, we don't have anything in place."

Mark Carr-Rollitt, director of operations for Tourism Charlottetown, said he has no problem with providing councillors with more information about how the money will be spent.

"In terms of communicating with our partners, absolutely — of course we want to do that. We want them to understand what it is they get for their money," Carr-Rollitt said.

Last year's inaugural Summerfest was long on spectacle, but short on cash.

Tourism Charlottetown lost money on Cirque du Soleil, eventually receiving a $1 million bail-out loan from the province to cover losses in part from poor ticket sales.

As a result, Tourism Charlottetown is now returning to the more familiar formula of rock concerts on the waterfront.

Also giving the city confidence in the viability of Summerfest this year is the fact that all the bookings have been taken on by the organizers of the successful Cavendish Beach Music Festival.

Last year, the province provided $250,000 in funding for Summerfest, but it hasn't yet committed to this year's festival, although it says that is coming.

The festival could cost Island taxpayers in other ways, though.

Tourism Charlottetown still owes the province $1 million. That money is supposed to be paid back through future profits. But much of those profits could now end up with a private concert promoter.