"We certainly wish the organizers well with their new direction and location,"
That doesn't mean the shift wasn't a disappointment to officials who put many hours into ensuring the festival could have a place in
News broke Thursday of KahBang's plans to relocate this year's festival from the Bangor Waterfront to
In the news release, KahBang marketing director
"The organizers felt it was important to give the festival a chance to sustain itself and continue with its mission of bringing emerging music, art and film to the state of
Organizers have cited several reasons for the move, including sluggish ticket sales and difficulty finding campground space in the area. They have said they hope to return the festival to
KahBang approached the city recently to ask permission to allow people to camp on the waterfront after deciding the past campground venue wouldn't work because it was too wet. The city denied that request, in large part because of the damage a weekend of camping could do to the grounds, a lack of appropriate restroom facilities, and the fact that allowing one group to camp there would mean other groups could request to do so as well, according to City Manager
"They expressed that camping was a major concern for them, but we never knew it was a deal breaker," Sprague said.
Multiple officials from the city manager's office, economic development, council and parks and recreation said Thursday and Friday that no one from KahBang approached them after the camping request denial to seek an alternative or to notify them that they might have to relocate the festival. All said they were taken by surprise when they read Thursday that the festival would be uprooting.
The contract also states that KahBang should pay
As of Friday, KahBang had not paid the city that money.
KahBang also agreed to pay the city
The contract lays out default and termination policies that largely focus on what happens if the festival goes into bankruptcy. The contract states that the agreement can be terminated if "KahBang fails to comply with the notice provision" or to "observe any of the other covenant, terms or conditions" within the agreement.
"They did break their contract and now we have a weekend on our waterfront in prime summer concert season with nothing going on," Sprague said. "This is why we have contracts, so that we can plan out our summer season."
Heitmann said on Friday he would be reviewing the contract and presenting it to councilors on Monday. He said he would have no comment until then.
Even if the city does believe that KahBang breached its agreement, it's unlikely the city would pursue any legal action.
"If legal options were available to us, I am not sure we would use them," Sprague said Friday. "We just want to move past this and focus on trying to fill our Waterfront season with something new. Our legal department has more pressing concerns."
Reiterating that the decision to relocate was a difficult one for the
"We are sad to see them go, it's true," Sprague said, "but mostly because it reinforces this false narrative that you have to go to
In response to an upset
"Our organizational mission is not to serve
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