Private funding needed! And the festival is in jeopardy of shutting down without it. That’s the story according to InsideBayArea.com:
Oakland’s nationally acclaimed monthly street festival is at risk because the city will soon stop subsidizing it, and a depleted volunteer organizing committee hasn’t figured out how to make it pay for itself.
After pumping $500,000 into Oakland First Fridays, the city is intent on passing the baton next month to the committee, which is scrambling to line up money and volunteers.
“We’re all just hustling to keep this event alive, but at this point we just don’t have enough money to save it,” organizer Edward Yoo said.
It costs about $20,000 per month to hold the street festival, which includes money for security, street closures and permit fees. Given that nearly 10,000 people saturate five blocks of Telegraph Avenue on festival nights, spending money at vendor stands, bars and restaurants, financing the event shouldn’t be a challenge, experts say.
But organizers have been reluctant to charge vendors other than food trucks, and businesses that benefit from the event haven’t rallied to their side.
It’s taken five months just to raise enough money for one festival. That will be in July after city funds run out.