For the past four years the city has funded the Lubbock Music Festival with $175,000 of hotel-motel tax money, but next year it's not in the budget. City Council members say that it is time for the festival to stand on it's own.
Don Caldwell helped start the Lubbock Music Festival in 2004. He says, "The music heritage in West Texas is deep and wide, and people from all over the country recognize the value of that music to the whole music scene throughout the world."
The festival has grown a lot during its few short years. Last year it brought in more than $130,000 and more than 12,000 people, but it's still not making a profit. In the past, the city has footed the $175,000 bill for the festival. Council members say the city funded the festival at first to get it started, but it's always been the intent that eventually the private sector would take over. "Council's been funding it for several years. It was never intended that it would be done that way, and it's time for it to stand on it's own," said Councilman John Leonard.
Caldwell is disappointed to see the funding go. It will be difficult to continue the festival without the city's help, but not impossible. "The options for funding are individual investors, investment groups of sorts that put together a group that can do it. There's just a number of ways like corporate sponsorships," Caldwell said.
Despite this setback, Caldwell hopes eventually the festival will grow into a week long event.
"The saying in Lubbock, Texas is that the music will never die, and I think that's the case with this festival. I think it'll keep going regardless," said Caldwell.