“I stand by my statements earlier about how we thought City Stages was going to come through, but the statements I got from [the City Stages officials] are not what they are saying now,” said Jim Taylor, City Stages media relations officer.
City Stages board members released a statement that City Stages will be going out of business due to the recession, weather conditions, low attendance and sales.
“Officially I don’t know jack,” Taylor said. “I haven’t talked to them since Sunday, and I haven’t heard back from them when I called earlier this week which is odd. I guess I’m not affiliated with them anymore.”
Many Birmingham residents, such as City Stages attendee Mark Trammell, call more attention to the music selection.
“I think the absence of big name bands and acts younger generations can relate to contributed to their downfall more than anything else,” Trammell said.
It is sentiment shared by Taylor, who wanted to suggest reworking the lineup by scaling back for next year.
“Everyone in every business has to scale back right now,” Taylor said.
He remains optimistic, despite the announcement of the festival’s demise, even offering an idea of a new location that might be a better fit than the hot asphalt streets in downtown.
“I suggested the new railroad park,” he said. “I think it might work, but the festival we know is gone and there probably won’t be anything like it next year.”
Seeing festivals discontinued and reestablished is nothing new for Taylor, who previously participated in Brewfest at Sloss Furnaces before new management took over the event.
City Stages was produced by a nonprofit organization called the Birmingham Cultural and Heritage Foundation, Inc. No officials from the organization were available for comment when this story was filed.