That entire posting, as printed on the Showfest website forum, will spell the end of the annual event.
First, it was given a community reprieve because it helped raise funds for Burn Center. When it lost that "protection," it can be assumed that the Showfest would decline on some peoples' eyes. Second, for all the shootings and "violence" surrounding Showfest, I wonder how many of the defendants/suspects were actually Showfest visitors. You can't blame the Showfest crowd for the behavior of Greenvillians.
It never hit me that the entire local media was "negative" towards the Showfest. Maybe editorials, but I saw more positive reviews of Showfest than negative when you come right down to it. The lack of dialogue with local politicians can be understood because what local leader can really be seen embracing the Showfest? The community, in many sectors, simply doesn't recognize that Showfest was one of the few events where outside money circulated inside the city limits - a cash infusion.
My interpretation is that the politicians understood this and stayed relatively quiet through it all and turning a blind eye towards public consumption on the boulevard and female breast exposure - the exposure being the only unique "crime" being committed; people drink on Greenville's streets all the time. There are ways to play the political game in these controversial cases and I question whether the Showfest organizers played it to Delta specifications. The lack of sponsorships can be laid at the organizers' feet, but with 8 people, that could be extremely difficult. Shoot, the mighty Blues fest hardly gets medium-dollar advertisements.
So, if you drop the customary "blame the media" argument, the points for ending Showfest are quite compelling. I'm betting dwindling attendance and few sponsorships to pay the overhead costs played much higher roles than local public image. It's tough luring money into the Port City. Besides, the Showfest was designed for out-of-towners primarily.
What happens next, Greenville? There's no more burn center so no more incentive to organize local events around its money needs. There's no more Stingers. The Bluesmen are a memory (a cherished memory at that)Do you think the once-a-year Mississippi Valley State basketball game will tide you over every winter?
One day, it will have to turn around. I mean there is place called "Rock Bottom," then there's nothing else to do but spin around and head the other way.