Glen Moffatt, the organizer of the fledgling Midland Ribfest, that was being organized for August 5-7, has cancelled the event citing obstacles that made it impossible for this first-time event to happen. The organizer says that any fees collected will be refunded and says there may be another organizer interested in hosting a RibFest in Midland this summer.
In a brief interview with Moffatt, he cites soaring security costs (police) for the beer tent and the event in general. Moffatt says that although the event draws income from sponsors and exhibitors, a major source of income is the sale of alcohol. The costs to run this event range from $80-85,o00.
He goes on to state that when he ran similar events in Parry Sound for three years, that the local police simply walked through the event and were not contracted to perform security. When asked about why Midland’s AGCO (Alcohol & Gaming) enforcement office required “paid duty” police to attend the event as a condition of the liquor permit, he was unsure. What is different about Midland?
In breaking news, Midland’s Police Chief has responded to this story on his blog. See his response at this link.
Party on the Dock, a yearly event (tickets required) is routinely staffed by local police and remains highly profitable. It is unclear as to why RibFest (free) would be unable to make a profit and still engage any required security personnel (police and private security). Perhaps the Town’s budget for the event was not enough to help offset the organizer’s costs for items seemingly beyond his control.
Moffatt said that he has had many meetings and simply could not run this event and lose money and reports that any profits were to be directed to the Salvation Army. A quick check of the event’s website shows a few bands booked and only three sponsors…
Although it is sad to see the event fail to get off the ground, it is far better to see it cancelled ahead of time without losses like the embarrassment that we suffered over the failed BikeFest (different organizer) that saw Tom Cochrane and his musicians, event security, stage hands and many ticket holders all out-of-pocket upon arriving at the event, and put Midland in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons!
Sorry to hear it won’t happen with Glen’s production, but perhaps there are lessons to be learned by all involved that will help it succeed in the future.
We have lots to look forward to including new outside movie nights, music on the dock and let’s not forget the Butter Tart Festival and more!