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Visual Promotion May 05, 2020

COVID-19 Local Festival Impacts

We talked Friday May 1st with Paul Benjamin, co-founder of the North Atlantic Blues Festival, and Celia Knight, President of the Maine Lobster Festival, to talk about their events, which have been canceled for this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Maine Boat and Home Show has also been canceled. Union Fair leaders say they have not yet decided what they will do this year.

Benjamin and Knight estimate the loss of the festivals will cost the Midcoast and its business people millions of dollars. The festivals draw thousands to the area and people who go to the festivals help support numerous local businesses. In addition, fishermen are hard hit by lower lobster prices and the loss of the festival means the loss of 20,000 pounds of sales of “shedder” lobsters for the year.

Benjamin worries that many of the blues artists who have lost their opportunity to play in shows throughout 2020 may not be able to weather the financial hardship caused by the pandemic. He notes that it is very expensive to organize these events and the festival also could not run the risk of going forward and having no one attend.

Benjamin said he will have an announcement Monday concerning the future of the festival that he believes will be good news.

 

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