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Sound of Music Festival approved for second paid event in Spencer Smith Park

City staff have approved a second ticketed concert in Spencer Smith Park to raise funds for the Burlington Sound of Music Festival (BSOMF). The festival first introduced a paid concert in 2015 to help fund the lineup of acts for the free weekend.

Staff consulted with the community via an online survey in December that was available for about a week. According to staff, the majority of the 439 responses supported adding the second paid event.

The second ticketed concert will be held Sunday June 10 from noon to 9 pm. There is an existing paid concert in the park the day before (Saturday). Both events are the weekend before the free festival which runs over Father’s Day each year.

The announcement was part of a memo to council and senior staff, included in the Council Information Package for Dec. 22. Read the memo here: CIP Dec 22

My Take:  I support the festival and understand the need for fundraising, and also believe the park should be available to the community as much as possible. The more paid ticketed events are held there, the more exclusive this community park becomes.

Additionally, I don’t believe the public consultation was sufficient: an online only survey that was available for just a week, released right before Christmas, likely missed the attention of many who might wish to comment.

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.


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  1. Talking about raising funds for the SOM, I understand that the Santa Clause Parade folks can no longer offer sponsorships for the parade as this “conflicts “ with the SOM fundraising….go figure.

  2. Unfair criticism of survey – 439 responses in a week is much more input than a single council meeting with 80 citizen attendees to determine the future of our city.

  3. What ever happened to the original music festival – the one that allowed local talent who were not professionals the chance to perform?
    It got hijacked by the usual grubbie gang that has to turn everything this city does into a money making/spending extravaganza.
    As usual NOW it is the taxpayer & community that’s expected to fork out money to make it bigger – go back to the way it was originally!!!

  4. I don’t believe that taking a weekend to put on a couple of paid shows is unduly excluding citizens from using the park Councillor. It sounds appropriately balanced.

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