After facing a series of unexpected challenges, the North Coast Music Festival is being postponed until this winter.
Originally scheduled for Sept. 29, the Cannon Beach Arts Association planned to host local band Adams and Costello along with The Beatniks from Seattle at the city park as a fundraiser for education programs at the nonprofit art gallery.
The festival is the product of a $10,000 tourism and arts grant given by the city. The goal was to build music workshops and lectures into the weekend in pursuit of the gallery’s larger mission to educate future musicians — much like the model used by the South by Southwest festival in Austin.
But concerns about the weather, costs for event insurance and low ticket sales prompted Cara Mico, the director of the arts association, to postpone the festival.
“A perfect storm of unexpected things popped up at the last minute, and I thought it was wiser to give ourselves more time to put on a better event than to force this event,” Mico said.
A relatively cold and rainy August made Mico anxious about whether good weather would hold out until the end of September. Delaying the event also means the organization will now only have to pay for event insurance required by the city once to cover both this year’s and next year’s festivals. The original date lined up with other deadlines in such a way that the organization would have had to pay the $600 permit twice in one year — an amount, Mico said, that would have eaten into the profit she expected to make at the inaugural event.
“It’s not a huge chunk of change, but it’s not insignificant,” she said. “I would rather give that $600 to a band or for scholarships.”
Above all, lack of interest is the largest driver of the delay, Mico said. With only two weeks until the show, only a few tickets had been sold.
“I think events are better when they are organic, grassroots,” Mico said. “ I want to spend more time getting people excited.”
Mico instead is opting for a smaller, winter event held indoors at the gallery to drum up community interest. After the event gets established, Mico still hopes to coordinate with other local musicians and nonprofits to expand the event and share the donations.
“We are new at this,” Mico said. “We don’t want to rush this. We want to do it right.”