Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Two way communications: Marcey explains why there'll be no Indie Fest in 2017, but leaves open the possibility of a comeback.

And as I know perhaps all too well, in order to "come back," one must first "go away."

My good friend Marcey Wisman-Bennett is to be commended for undertaking several difficult tasks at once.

For five years, Indie Fest has been a favored project, and it became something of a personal crusade for her. But now she's letting go, at least for the moment, and reassessing future prospects. In fractured times, this is eminently rational.

Moreover, Marcey thinks it important to explain to the event's fans why the decision to suspend Indie Fest was made, and to do so thoughtfully, without pointing fingers. In increasingly divided New Albany, that's eminently diplomatic.

It cannot be emphasized too strongly that when Indie Fest first was minted, it was to be a smaller part of a bigger entity. New Albany First would be the independent business association along the lines of LIBA in Louisville, and it would be a daily presence in the city. Once each year, NA First would stage Indie Fest as an exclamation mark.

It is beyond my aim today to document the myriad reasons why NA First withered and died, or to urge for the zillionth time that something like it be revived, because indies need to leverage their power as a unified force, and not be kept divided and manipulated from above.

Oops. Just did, didn't I?

The point is this: When NA First settled beneath the anchor-ridden mud flats, the festival's exclamation mark became the whole explanatory sentence, uncoupled from its mission and competing for funding along with countless other fests and events, but without the sort of local buy-in to be derived from the perceived benefits of the business association's daily operation.  

If Indie Fest is to be the reason for its own being, then it must be rethought, as Marcey clearly understands.

Once again, thanks to Marcey for respecting the intelligence of Indie Fest's supporters by leveling with them like adults. Contrast this stunningly mature approach with Team Gahan's perennially secretive disposition. I'm impressed that the reporter Grady added this coda:

Indie Fest is the second New Albany festival not to happen this year. The Boomtown Ball & Festival, which was organized by the city, failed to return for a fourth year in May.

When asked that month why the festival did not happen, Courtney Lewis, the City of New Albany’s director of outreach and engagement, did not give a reason, but confirmed that it wasn’t occurring. She did not say whether or not the event would return.


So effortless for some, and so elusive for others.

New Albany's Indie Fest canceled for 2017 — but there's still hope, by Danielle Grady (Hanson Huckster's Almanac)

NEW ALBANY — New Albany’s Indie Fest isn’t happening this year, but its founder is optimistic about the future of the locally-focused festival.

Marcey Wisman-Bennett started Indie Fest in 2012 with New Albany First, an independent business alliance. The September festival was billed as a way to celebrate all things independent — from businesses to artists to musicians.

Indie Fest announced on its Facebook page on June 21 that it would not return in 2017.

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