Sunday, July 02, 2006

More "Scoop" on Showfest

An anonymous writer offers the following comment:

"This Sunday's D.D.T. reports the demise of showfest. But I must say. I saw it here on The Scoop first. Maybe The Scoop is the true resource for breaking news stories. Support Forthright - CONTRIBUTE."

"Local Reflector" reflects on the broad economic losses associated with this event:

It's great that someone posted the Showfest information on the Delta Scoop and that "Forthright" - our new blog-master - quickly posted it for the community to read. This is the essence of Delta Scoop concept. But, don't confuse it with competing with the Delta Democrat Times. Local dialogue is a community concern. I commend the Times for covering the story as it's highly important and an issue that transcends a "Showfest"; it means the loss of outside revenue or new cash coming into town.

Why is that important?

Well, if you consider the numbers of locals who rely on government subsidies/direct payouts, you have a prescribed amount of cash arriving monthly in local mailboxes. The good news is that this cash doesn't shrink when the economy shrinks and is resistant, in actual amounts, to the ebb and flow of market economics. All the utility companies and landlords can count on so much money being available the first week of every month. The drawback is that while this financial infusion is stable, it never grows and it never creates economic booms. It's enough money to keep a roof over one's head, but one will never see middle class status by relying on it. If its buying power, community-wide, fails, then you're experiencing an influx of welfare recipients or more jobs have left - jobs which likely paid somewhat better wages.

When an event like Showfest can perform in Greenville, suddenly you have a flow of income directly into local merchants' coffers and the city accounts. It's all disposal, after-tax income and, given recent years, it makes people happy except the churches who need something tangible to fight (as opposed to tackling moral apathy which we know exists but cannot physically see) and the people who purposely cruise HWY 82 near Raceway Road in hopes of being offended.

Now, one of Greenville's 52 yearly weekends is darkened by another event's assumed "death." Was a million dollars a day in economic impact killed with it? Maybe if you count how many times the outside cash will turn over within the community. Nonetheless, that's wasted economic impact which the beloved Blues Festival will not match anytime soon.

If you check economic impact, why couldn't the city have helped Showfest? What makes the Blues Festival culturally superior to a car show, when the city's bottom-line is what's most important? The answer is nothing. One event packed the city's major thoroughfare for two nights a year and sold motels out. The other draws about four thousand (maybe) people to an open field to hear great music but not hang around long enough to eat more than one meal in town.

Ten grand given to hire a band would've given the city cash to tighten the security a little better. The city shouldn't support a car show that cannot afford to support itself, unlike the Blues Festival.

I am running off into a tangent, but the more you hash our ideas and issues, the more certain things become apparent as to why things are as they are. The issue isn't Showfest, it's economics. When a community is so inclined to consider local government as a job-creating entity and substitute grants as proof of economic development, maybe it cannot understand that a little accomodation for perceived inconveniences can go a long way. And to think, Showfest wasn't in the city soaking up tax exemptions and making a bunch of empty promises. It just wanted to hold a show at a convention center whose grounds were perfect for such an event. Maybe the problem is that event organizers aren't deceptive enough in proclaiming they can usher in two days of economic "heaven" every year.

"Local Reflector"

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

OK, here's the deal. Showfest has broad appeal to the lowest common denominator of the area. The segment of the population that pays property taxes and owns businesses and purchases the hefty car tags DOES NOT SUBSIDIZE SHOWFEST. Yes, they are in the minority. Yes, that is regrettable; Greenville was a hub of cultural activity at one point. The continued loss of the business/leisure class has resulted in a ridiculous grab for a skinfest---excuse me----Showfest as an alternative to actual entertainment and hopeful revenue for the City.

Red Dog said...

Money talks, bullshit walks. Again, show me the organizations chomping at the bits to have a convention in downtown Greenville, Mississippi, USA, that will pour a couple of million, with an "M" into the local economy.

Take the family to Disney World for that weekend and grin and bear it. You support the casinos, don't you? Oh, I forget, I see you all in Tunica and Vicksburg on the weekends..

What hypocrits!

Anonymous said...

Hypocrites? At least I can spell it. Casinos? I don't think so. And you've never seen me there, nor anyone else whose opinion matters to me.

Let's see a show of hands for those who support RD's opinion. None? Just as I thought.

Showfest, Blowfest. Offer a realistic and quality option for saving Greenville from itself.