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Arts and Culture

American Folk Festival Ends After 18 Years On Bangor Waterfront

Linda Coan O'Kresik
Bangor Daily News
Stilt walker Greg Frangoulis, Shoestring Theater, leads members the of the John Bapst band, choir, football team, cheer team and soccer team along Front Street in the parade to kick off the 2019 American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront on Aug. 23.

The American Folk Festival said Tuesday that the 2019 edition of the 18-year-old festival was its last, and that the organization would dissolve at the end of the year.In a press release sent out on Tuesday, board chair Nicole Gogan said that there will be no festival for 2020.

“Our board made the incredibly difficult decision to discontinue this festival,” Gogan said. “The decision to close was not made hastily, and was difficult for every person involved. This is a financial decision. The Board of Directors saw no clear path forward that could responsibly be taken. This is a tough, but responsible decision.”

The festival has in recent years experienced a dramatic reduction in both funds raised and physical size. In 2009, the festival brought in more than $1 million in revenue, according to its IRS tax filing for that year. By 2017, the most recent year for which tax data are available, total revenue had dropped more than 40 percent, to about $625,000.

This year’s festival featured just 14 artists performing on three stages — down from 24 artists performing on six stages a decade ago.

This story appears through a media sharing agreement with Bangor Daily News.