Weddington agrees to help fund festival, if name gets changed
The town of Weddington will help fund the second year of a local festival, as long as the name gets changed. During their Monday, April 11 meeting, the Weddington town council voted to give a maximum of $20,000 for the 2011 edition of Weddstock, to be held August 20 at Mayor Nancy Anderson’s Hunter Farms property.
Two council members however inserted a caveat into the funding allocation, saying the name needed to go.
“I’m concerned, calling the event Weddstock,” council member Werner Thomisser said. “It’s pretty close to Woodstock.”
Fellow council member Jerry McKee echoed Thomisser ‘s concern, saying several residents had come up to him and asked for the change, as they didn’t feel the perceived association with Woodstock was appropriate.
“I would like for it to be called Weddington Festival, so the town’s name is out there,” McKee said.
The event formerly known as Weddstock started last year as a way to bring the community together, but struggled out of the gate with funding issues. This year, it’s being pared down from five days to one, running from 6 a.m to midnight on Aug. 20.
The funding issues last year came as proposed sponsors fell through and Weddstock organizers overestimated the revenues the event would produce. The event brought in a higher attendance rate than expected, especially with kids, with a combined 4,000 people attending the five Fridays.
All total, each of the 4,000 people spent an estimated $1.64 per week on average. On average, it cost an estimated $2.75 from each of Weddington’s 11,420 taxpayers to hold the events. Organizers thought they’d sell $1,500 in beer and wine each week, but average sales only reached $800 per week.
The organizing committee expected to cover 25 percent of the costs with cash donations from visitors or product sales. The committee expected to cover the remaining 75 percent with in-kind services, such as volunteer labor or free radio spots. The town council contributed $11,000.
This year, the council unanimously approved a donation not to exceed $20,000. Currently, the town’s Parks and Recreation Committee estimates it will cost $37,500 to run the one day festival, not counting any donations received between now and then.