The powers that be behind one of Barrie’s most popular summer festivals might consider asking for admission fees soon.
Kempenfest organizers have paired with a consultant to come up with ways of refreshing and revitalizing the festival, while also revisiting the finances behind it. One idea being floated, according to Kempenfest Chair Todd Tuckey, is a voluntary admission fee. “We’re looking at doing a voluntary admission of one or two dollars. Now, for people who can’t afford it, or simply say they don’t want to pay it, that’s fine. We’re not going to force anybody, but we are going to ask to keep the event viable… if we go this route.”
He adds that charging a fee does not indicate Kempenfest is losing money; it can’t. “At the end of the day, if there’s a bit of a shortfall there, then Kempenfest simply goes back to the charities and say ‘okay, we need you to pay a little piece of the pie that you would have had to pay on your own regardless.’ Kempenfest does not lose money, it can’t lose money. But what happens is, without any additional source of revenue, the service clubs will have to cover some of these costs.”
“Kempenfest is an entity that oversees the event. So Kempenfest gets burdened with the cost of washrooms, security, the marketing, the entertainment, garbage, paying for the parking lots.” continues Tuckey, “so there’s all these ancillary costs, and they keep going up and up and up, so it’s like, how do you recoup these?”
Kempenfest organizers and the consultant continue to work together on ideas for the festival, while no decisions on admission has been made.