Burlington, News

Tall Tales Musical Festival nixed for 2024

Aaron Lee Tasjan, a musician from Nashville, shares his story while strumming a tune during the Tall Tales Music Festival in 2023. Organizers of the event announced they have canceled the 2024 festivities. (Jason Arndt/Southern Lakes Newspapers).

Organizers say they do not have the budget required

By Jason Arndt

The Tall Tales Music Festival, an annual downtown Burlington event, will not occur in 2024 because of financial challenges in organizing the event.

Patrick Sullivan, co-founder of the event, said organizers made the decision “after careful consideration.”

“While we had hoped to be celebrating the festival’s 10th anniversary this August, after honest election, it became clear that we simply do not have the budget required to execute a successful event,” Sullivan said in a news release.

Southern Lakes Newspapers sought additional comment from Sullivan on whether the city’s new policy for special events played a role in the cancellation however, a response had not been received by deadline.
Experience Burlington, which assumed responsibility of accepting special events from the city, recognized the challenges faced by the organizers of Tall Tales Music Festival.

“Tall Tales is a fantastic community event and it’s truly disappointing that our Burlington summer will be a little less lively in August,” said Experience Burlington Executive Director M.T. Boyle.

“I know the organizers tried really hard to find the special event funding this year and funding sources are getting leaner and event expenses are growing, especially with the added costs of city services,” she added.

Organizers praise community
Since 2013, Tall Tales Music Festival organizers said they have welcomed world-class musicians in multiple genres to downtown Burlington, with a simple mission.

“From the beginning, our goal was simple: To showcase everything that makes our community special. Nine events later, we are proud to say that we have done just that,” they said.

Organizers also extended gratitude to several business sponsors who made the event possible, including major contributions from Lavelle Industries, The Coffee House at Chestnut Street and Pine and Thrivent Financial.

Additionally, they commended several city departments for their cooperation since the Tall Tales Music Festival began a little more than a decade ago.

“Thank you to the City of Burlington, Burlington Police Department, Burlington Fire Department, and Department of Public Works for your partnership and logistical support, all of which allowed us to pull off a safe, family-friendly event year after year,” they said.

They also credited countless volunteers, who have helped with everything from set up and take down to serving drinks to patrons in attendance.

“While we’ll never say never to a comeback down the road, for now we’ll just say thank you, Burlington, for allowing us to do this,” they said.

See the June 27 print edition of the Standard Press for the full story

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