After five years in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Moon River Festival is hitting the pause button for 2024. Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly joins hosts Barry, Lord Taco, and Bryan Stone on The What Podcast to discuss possible reasons why. Listen here, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Despite three sell-out years in Chattanooga, Moon River won't be returning for what Mayor Kelly admits are complicated reasons. He points to the general impact of inflation, as well as the economics of a festival in 2024.
But while he hopes Moon River will return at some point in the future, he's not waiting around for the stars to align. "I can tell you behind the scenes, we're talking to some folks about trying to stand up something local," Mayor Kelly says, noting the event would focus on "local and smaller artists." "Because the consolidation of the festival business isn't helpful to any of this either, because there aren't enough entrants and competitors."
Listen to the full chat or watch it via YouTube. While you're at it, go ahead and like, review, and subscribe to The What Podcast wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our shows, and snag our "Radiate Positivity T-shirt on the Consequence Shop.
Topic: Moon River
Guest: Tim Kelly
Adapt, change, grow, force majeure.
Now we're hearing hitting pause.
What's going on with all these new words with the music festivals?
We're going to talk about it this week on the What Podcast.
Welcome back to the What Podcast.
I'm Barry, that's Lord Taco.
Joining us is Bryan Stone.
You know him, you love him.
We know him, we love him.
He's been on the show several times.
He's a longtime member of Camp Nut Butter.
Glad to see you, Brian.
How are you?
Thanks for having me on and going forward, looking forward to be involved more often.
And I'm not the one with the bad connection for the maybe the first time ever.
Yeah, hard connections work very well, but looking forward to talking to the mayor.
We'll see how it goes.
So yeah, Brian is with us.
As we've said before, Brad, you know, co-host, what do you call it?
I don't know.
That makes him sound like he's gone.
Brad has taken some time off and Brian has agreed to join Russ and I, Lord Taco and I,
to share his insights.
You've been to every single one, right?
Jumped the fence in the first year.
Down the line, we can spend some more time on stuff like that.
If we want to go back and look at some Bonnaroo history.
Jumped the fence in the first year, but I was there barely counts, but it counts.
I was there day one.
The whole weekend or at least, you know, over two thirds of the weekend, pretty much ever
And Brad's as good as it gets when it comes to this kind of industry work and happy to
be able to try to fill a little bit of a void there.
But it's one of my favorite things to do.
Talk music, talk festivals, talk.
The entertainment industry all the way around.
So looking forward.
Well, that's, I mean, that's a good point.
We should, I should spend a minute.
You know, I, if you listen to this show and I have to keep reminding myself, not everybody
listens every week, which is stunning.
I don't understand it, but can you imagine?
I'm not understand why they wouldn't get it.
What's the matter with you people?
So I mean, I had 37 years writing basically entertainment for the Chattanooga Times Free
Brian is a veteran radio guy.
Worked for Brad with Brad, not with during the, the more unfortunate times in my career.
And you host your own podcast, Stone On Air, which is, I've always said a great name and
one of the greatest logos ever.
I don't know if I've ever told you that.
I think Nate Gale came up with that, right?
I love it.
And the podcast I do on a weekly basis is, is focusing right here locally where we're
from in Chattanooga, a little regional, mostly right here in town.
So I thank you, Wisconsin for being here.
You probably don't care about the podcast that I do, but it is there if you'd like to
check it out.
So anyway, so point being, uh, Brian like us has, uh, Bonnaroo ties and media ties and
you like, uh, you like the sausage making stuff almost as much as we do, I assume.
And, uh, so looking forward to having you, uh, contribute and be part of the show.
And, and today is a great example of that.
Uh, I'm very happy.
Uh, so to set this up, the, we found out this week that moon river, which is a festival
here in Chattanooga, uh, that moved here five years ago after starting in Memphis, it moved
because it outgrew Memphis, uh, came here, sold out in like 10 minutes the first year.
I mean, yeah.
Every year that it's been here too, we've gone and we've interviewed guests.
We've talked to, uh, big part of the show, drew Holcomb.
We talked to a lot of people with moon river.
So it's been a big part of our show.
Big part of our show.
Big part of Chattanooga and we're going to talk to mayor Tim Kelly, uh, Chattanooga mayor
Tim Kelly, because moon river announced that it was hitting the pause button.
They're not the only one we've heard of a couple of festivals that are hitting the pause
button and, uh, that's a new phrase.
And so we're going to talk about that a little bit.
New phrase to us.
Anyway, I don't know what that means.
In our minds and maybe we're cynics, that means you're not coming back.
You know, so why not just say we're not coming back?
So the pause part of it is, is new, right?
And that's just, um, you know, going down the road is it's typical PR kind of stuff,
uh, whether it be political entertainment or, um, whatever it might be, you, you don't
say exactly what you're doing.
And uh, because you want to place it's not you.
It's not you.
It's damage control for reaction damage control for reaction.
And, uh, if you just say, thanks Chattanooga we out, like, you know, that doesn't sit as
well as we're going to make it bigger and bolder and better in 25.
Well, bigger, better, bolder, all those words to me equals, uh, another city, another venue
and, uh, thanks, uh, no thanks.
And, but that's just the cynic of me.
If, if you're here regularly, you'll eventually start to realize that's kind of where I come
from on most all, uh, subject matter.
Hope I'm wrong.
But when you talk about the pause button, Barry, that the pause button terminology has
been used maybe the most in this damn city right here.
Both of our festivals are gone.
Yeah, we've had two.
One of the coolest minis in the, in the South now has lost our, um, our, our big festival
music scene, which we've had for so long.
And we'll, we'll hear more from the mayor.
Can we get that back?
Will that continue?
Do we want it back?
Do we need it back?
Do we need it?
That, that is a legitimate question.
Do we want it?
Most people are going to answer yes, cause that's an easy, quick answer.
Do we need it?
That's the more difficult question.
Do we need it?
I, I, the short answer?
I mean, we don't need it, but we, I think we all want it.
And, um, and if it's not moon river, it's something else.
Just for, just for, uh, being factual, we also have a third festival, J-fest, uh, which
we don't talk a lot about because it's a Christian music fest and that's, I have nothing against
It's just not in my wheelhouse.
It draws 12, 13,000 people, same as river band the last two years and Bonnaroo.
So you know, give them, give them their credit.
We just, it's just not something we talk a lot about.
It's not a camping.
It's a one day.
It's a, it's a different animal for a lot of reasons, but, but I don't want to, uh,
ignore them because for city our size to have had three festivals, you know, in the 10 to
15,000 people range is pretty amazing, but we lost two of them within a couple of months.
And that's kind of what we're here to talk about.
Um, lots of reasons.
Lots of speculation.
We've heard everything from mismanagement to weather to it's moving to Huntsville.
We get into that Brian, you, you asked the mayor directly about that.
Um, I had been told prior, I knew it was coming.
I had been told that it was moving to Huntsville.
My contacts with live nation C3 tell me, no, it's not.
It's not going to Huntsville in no way, shape or form.
Is it going to Huntsville?
I don't have any more insight than you would on this.
My people in Huntsville were stunned when I asked, uh, the reason we mentioned that is
because Huntsville has become so aggressive in a good way.
I don't mean that ugly.
They have decided they want to become a music city.
Their mayor is committed.
Uh, their, their city count, whatever, you know, the, the powers.
That be are committed to making Huntsville, um, a music place.
And that's why I think at this show, it will be interesting to people outside of Chattanooga
and Huntsville is cause that's what we talk about.
And we talked to mayor Kelly, uh, about that specifically.
And um, for clarification on the front end here, we were talking about TIFFs that's tax
incremental financing, which is a pretty creative way of the last, I don't know how long, 20
years or so of governmental spending and, uh, repayment of bonds and things like that.
That we have a whole lot of other things that have nothing to do with music here in this
town that people are fighting over TIFFs.
So when you hear TIFFs, that's what we're talking about.
Tax incremental financing that will, um, in theory, pay back this money that is, um, that
has been borrowed to, to, to fund these facilities, to fund these events.
And I, it was news to me, you'll, when you find out today, listening to the show, how
aggressive Huntsville has been, and they're using that same kind of governmental financing
and their area of Alabama doesn't seem to care.
At least it doesn't appear, meaning from a, just an overall snapshot of their social media
is really your best place to see that.
You don't see as much pushback here in Chattanooga.
We're getting a lot of pushback on that.
It's interesting you say it that way.
Cause that's, um, to bring it back to Bonnaroo, a lot of people don't know, don't care.
You buy a ticket and you go and you hear the music, but it's not been, it's not a rainbows
and unicorns relationship up there in coffee.
No, no, no, no.
They've had land issues, uh, annex issues, tax issues, coffee County issues, how much
money here, the $3 per ticket there they want.
There's been a lot and that that's been quieter recently, but certainly a lot of talk about,
Who goes to Manchester other to see mama on them except for Bonnaroo.
And so a hotel room, you know, goes from $55 to $450, you know?
So there's, it's, there's a lot that goes on with stuff like this.
Tennessee is a fabulous state.
Governmentally, I have some issues, but, uh, landscape and aesthetically it's, it's, it's
one of my favorites states in the union here, but, um, I'd like to say there was something
else to do in Manchester.
There's not, there's nothing else to do in Manchester.
No, you drive an hour each direction, you'll find something.
Well that's right.
And so, and that's why I think this was so relevant to have mayor Kelly on with us.
Um, because what does a city do?
I mean, how far do you bend over?
And he, he mentions this, uh, how far do you bend over?
How much do you give up?
How much do you be the, uh, aggressor?
How much money do you put on the table, uh, for an event?
And what's the payoff?
Uh, and I, and I don't, I don't want to put words in his mouth, but am I, am I saying
I mean, I don't, you know, those are the questions.
Um, a city can write the big fat check and that is a quote.
Um, but then you're on the hook for it.
And I didn't say it in the, in the, in the episode, but that's what a lot of people used
to do, including Chattanooga with Riverbend, Birmingham, Atlanta, you know, Knoxville
all had, um, city run city promoted city finance to at least partially events.
And then you get rained out for two straight years.
Well, and many of them have, right.
And then the ones you're just speaking of, of the other cities surrounding, they had
all gone out of business.
That's my point.
Yeah, that's exactly my point.
Music Midtown, the initial one went out of business.
City Stages in Birmingham went out of business.
River Stages in Nashville.
These are all pretty old.
These are all like 20 years old.
They all went out of business, but they were huge, more city street oriented, day come go
kind of a daily thing.
And they all went under and, um, and they were all government subsidized.
So, yeah, that's my, yeah, that's, that's why I bring those up.
So that's what it, and I, you know, we had Mayor Kelly again, uh, I should say this,
um, and I mentioned it briefly, but I'm serious about this.
So I woke up on a Saturday morning thinking about this moon river thing and thought, cause
I was reading all the social media, you know, everybody's blaming so-and-so and this, that
it's the city's fault and we need a manager and it's mismanagement.
And I thought, well, who can answer that?
And I thought Tim Kelly, Mayor Tim Kelly can.
And I thought, you know, who, you don't bother the guy.
It's a Saturday morning.
Get the mayor on the phone.
Get the mayor on the phone.
I'm like, don't bother the guy.
And then I thought, you know what?
This is exactly what he would want to talk about.
So I sent him a text and it took maybe three minutes and he was like, absolutely, absolutely.
And I, I do not ever want to abuse a relationship and won't ever again.
But I knew this was something that he would want to talk about.
And sure enough, he did.
And he gave us what?
So on a Sunday and I don't want to discount how much I appreciate that.
Time is money.
Money is time.
But I mean, he's, you'll hear, you'll hear he's, this is, this is Pat.
He's passionate about it.
And I knew he would be.
And I say in the, in the interview and I mean it and I'll say it again, if there's another
mayor out there who cares more about live music than Tim Kelly, I want to meet the guy.
And, and he is a Bonnaroo fan.
He's been a long time and we even talk about that.
So, all right.
So quick takeaways.
The importance of a music festival to a city.
We talk about that.
We talk about it's a, is it an industry reset?
Is it a city thing?
Is it a live nation?
Our prices becoming an issue.
Our prices becoming an issue.
We didn't talk about, and I have been told by several people within the industry that
this is just a bad year for headliners.
He does kind of mention that when he says that DJs are a lot cheaper than bands.
We didn't dial down into that, but that's the truth.
It's very true.
So we, you know, we heard last year, Russ, I think we talked about it briefly on this
show, just trucking.
I mean, logistics, just moving bands from city to city.
All of that stuff went way up.
So the, and hotels, which we just mentioned a little while ago, it's all gone up.
So yeah, if there's, if there's four people on stage, there's hundreds behind the scenes
responsible for you got to move them on stage.
You got to move them and there's equipment and beat them, house them, move them, beat
So, and I think Tim's first answer to our question, you know, what happened is it's
So all right.
What am I missing?
This was a great interview.
I think it's relevant.
I mean, we talk a lot about Chattanooga, but I think everything we talk about is relevant
to anywhere USA, right?
I mean, your, your festival and your town could do the same thing and maybe already
has, you know, for it's happening all over the country.
Yeah, regardless of the size and the scope of the nature.
I mean, it's, yeah, it is.
What's new is this pause thing.
I still don't know what that, I don't know if, like I said, is that, it's, it's not you.
I'm going to look and see if there's a prettier girl out there.
What if you're, yeah.
If your girlfriend said, I'm going to put things on pause, what does that mean?
I think I can do better.
I don't know what it means.
Don't lose my number.
I think I can do better.
I don't, I don't know how else to describe that.
Actually, I think I can do better.
We're going to go look.
Well, here we go.
This was our interview with the Chattanooga mayor, Tim Kelly, talking about Moon River
hitting the pause button in Chattanooga and what it might mean to other festivals and
With us again, Lord Taco, Russ, to his family and me, Bryan Stone, and a very special guest,
Chattanooga mayor, Tim Kelly.
We kind of mentioned in the intro why we wanted to talk to mayor Kelly, but I want to set
it up a little bit more so he kind of knows where we're coming from on this.
The big news in our city this week was that Moon River has hit the pause button.
And part of the reason I wanted to talk is because they're not the only festival around
the country that is using that phraseology.
And that kind of struck me as odd.
Number one, number two, obviously social media gets out there and everybody wants to blame
And one of the things or entities that gets blamed is the city of Chattanooga itself for
not caring, not trying enough, not being committed.
And it just struck me Saturday morning as I was sitting there that if there's a mayor
out there who is more committed to live music, I want to meet him.
I'd like to think so.
I mean, the last time you and I saw each other was at the Richard Lloyd concert probably
a month ago.
And I wanted to give shout out condolences to the Richard's wife, Sheila and her family.
They lost their mother this weekend.
Sorry about that.
Sorry to hear that.
Condolences to the O'Keeffe's.
And also shameless, shameless name dropping.
But I wanted to tell you also, Tim and Richard, Rhino Records is going to release a special
edition of Marquee Moon.
Oh, that's awesome.
A little bit.
So you might want to you might want to look that up and get on the list.
Definitely do that.
I've been a Rhino fan since, you know, back in the back in the days when I discovered,
you know, punk in 1979 or 80.
So yeah, that's that's great to hear.
Yeah, they used to put out some great compilation.
Yes, they did.
But let's get right into it.
So and also I want to I want to say this is the What Podcast.
We focus basically mostly on Bonnaroo, but also festivals in general.
Moon River and we're going to get way into this.
There's so much I want to talk about.
And I know Brian, I can already see him.
He's got he's got a list too.
I can tell you and he should.
But Moon River is a national festival.
It draws what five years here, almost five, fifty five percent of the fans come from outside
So it truly has a national footprint.
It also is a key component.
It was one of the coolest things as part of Chattanooga.
I mean, we'll just go ahead and say it right.
So losing it is a big, big deal.
So we're going to work backwards.
I'm going to go ahead and ask the first couple of questions and then we'll kind of work from
But what happened?
Why is it gone?
And should we be concerned?
And how concerned are we as a city about our live music scene?
Well, you know, as always with these things, we're not always.
But in this case, as you might suspect, it's complicated.
I mean, I can't I can't say for sure there's any one thing that caused them to take a pause.
But there's a lot of things going on.
I mean, one is kind of the economics of the festival business.
I think, you know, inflation has affected everything everywhere.
And look, they've got a hurdle rate for what they expect, you know, when they do a festival.
And I can tell you one thing, it's not the city of Chattanooga.
We've been over backwards to help them.
They're very happy with with what we've done.
You know, I think but but I but I look, I don't think this this is you can't look at
this separately from what's going on, as you mentioned in the opening from what's going
on in the rest of the in the rest of the country.
Yeah, we I have heard weather the last two years just for to to again, there's so much
So two years ago, it's a two day festival, Saturday, Sunday.
Two years ago, the Sunday was basically washed out, literally washed out.
And again, to let everybody know how committed the city is and Mayor Tim Kelly, you reached
out to them and said, whatever you need, you got it.
And we we did a podcast.
Yeah, we've had a great relationship with AC for forever.
I mean, we were partially responsible for well, it never came to light.
But we we were trying to help them rescue Bonru a few years back just by allowing them
to, you know, remember the year that it was so wet, they needed some help with our wastewater
Just you know, we've always had a great relationship with AC and they and they look they, you know,
they still program the tibaly and the memorial auditorium and all that.
And I know Ted honey really well.
And so, you know, it's it's not it's none of those things.
I wouldn't say it's weather.
I mean, the weather here is always pretty temperamental.
But you can't say for sure what I will say is, you know, they I can remember when they
announced Moon River.
Look, I mean, I'm a huge fan.
I've got a Moon River poster up in my office at City Hall.
But true story right behind my desk.
But I can remember thinking like, how are they going to make this happen?
I always thought that venue between the bridges would be amazing for a festival.
Never imagine like how they could secure that, how they could manage ingress and egress.
I mean, if there's one thing they are really, really good at, it's it's festival logistics
and they nailed it.
It's a it's a fantastic spot.
And you know, look, I will say this.
I mean, a we hope that they come back.
I'm not sure that they would come back to that spot, which which I think is disappointing.
I, you know, we'll see.
But I think part of it is capacity.
I mean, they want to be able to see more people in there and we can only really support 10,
12000 people in there.
So this gets back to kind of the economics of of festivals.
However, right, I think I can tell you behind the scenes where we're talking to some folks
about trying to stand up something local because this this is the consolidation of of the festival
business isn't helpful to any of this either.
Because there aren't enough entrants and competitors.
So you know, look, I mean, we definitely want to get Men River back.
We're going to work really hard to get it back.
But in the meantime, you know, we're going to try to use this year to to showcase local
artists and smaller artists and and do something ourselves.
Go ahead, Brian.
Then I have a question.
Well, to that point, I know you have initiatives like Soundcore here locally within within
the city government and other entities, parks and rec and others.
How much influence can you have to to you as an administration to bring a festival to
town or to try to create one?
I mean, I know you've got a lot of people with that you were, you know, your administration
is big, but you can get that ball rolling.
How far does that go?
Because you got to it's capital.
It's it's the want to it's and it's the availability of artists, not just within the region and
Sometimes if you if we're talking on the scale of Moon River and what this podcast talks
I mean, yeah, you can get the talks begun.
But how much how far can that go?
Well, I mean, there's a couple of levers to pull one.
I mean, very frankly, we could do a lot of things if we were to, you know, write a big
fat check, right?
That's just has never been in the cards historically.
And I'm not sure that it ever will be.
But Huntsville, you know, unfortunately, has kind of changed the game because that is as
the mayor, mayor battle tells me all the time, like they're kind of ashamed of their last
name, as it were.
And they have to work really hard to get to change Huntsville's image and and bring in
a lot of that technical and engineering talent that they need to run the giant military industrial
complex that is Huntsville.
And so they've changed the game and that they are willing to write checks, put up money,
do guarantees to bring festivals down there.
We've never done that.
We've never really been asked to do that.
I'm not sure that there's a political appetite in order to do that.
That's a conversation we probably are going to have to have at some point.
But I mean, we have a good draw organically.
We have a good music scene organically.
I would hate to think that we would have to do that.
So to your second point, we do have limited resources.
I mean, we're fortunate to have people like Carmen Davis and and Jonathan Sussman and
others look, if we're going to do something local, I think it's going to have to be a
very much it's not going to be just done out of City Hall.
It's going to have to be an overused word, but it's going to have to be kind of a grassroots
organic local effort to put that on.
And but I mean, I look, that's one of the things that we don't talk enough about.
In my mind, from the mayor's office is kind of economic localism and trying to celebrate
the elements of local culture and local assets.
So I think it'd be really cool if we could pull that off.
Well, speaking of Moon River specifically, just to talk about some rumors and I'm talking
Reddit, I'm talking Twitter, X, I'm talking places that don't you know, this isn't vetted
information, but a couple of the biggest rumors and this popped into my head when you mentioned
Huntsville because I didn't know I didn't know what they were talking about.
There was people who were like, well, hate to steal Moon River from you there, guys,
but we'll take you down here in Huntsville.
So to what you were just speaking to might lend some credibility to that potential.
And then the other one was to take the old Riverbend site, the Ross's landing site, maybe
Moon River would do better there with a large capacity area.
I don't know because Riverbend tried to do the same thing as far as attendance is concerned
in a because that footprint really is better when it's shrunk.
It's not as good when it goes all the way up to the Hunter Museum.
For those here locally, sorry for those of you who are out of town who don't know the
logistics as well.
But those are just a couple of thoughts on Moon River specifically.
Let me add to that, Tim.
Can I jump in real quick?
That was part of yeah, I was one of those Brian who sort of connected that dot when
I when we heard.
Funnily enough, my wife came home from getting her hair done and said the hairdresser just
said that Moon River is leaving.
This was like two weeks ago.
So you know, I'm naturally I'm reaching out to see three presents and people I know in
the city and and some of them were like, yeah, that's what we're hearing too.
It's going to Huntsville and part of that rumor.
And I'm glad you brought it up, Tim.
Part of the thinking was is Huntsville is being very aggressive.
They want to become a music.
They want to become known for their live music.
And from all reports I've heard, they have.
So it wasn't as wacky.
It's a cool city, too, by the way.
I mean, it really has been for a long time.
Well, it's it is, you know, and again, anyway, we've got good friends down there.
And again, the mayor and I are are are close and we've got a lot to we share a lot of information.
But trust me, it's not nearly as cool a city as Chattanooga.
It's not nearly.
No, no, I'm not.
And it's not as walkable.
But they, you know, look, they, I think, correctly see this, which which we definitely need to
learn from as a teachable moment.
They see it strictly as an economic development tool.
You know, when they're trying to recruit talent to the Huntsville, that and the mayor has
told me directly, that's the number one thing.
And the amphitheater there has been transformative in that respect.
To your point about needing we need a larger venue.
And we knew we know we need like a five, six, seven thousand seat boutique amphitheater.
It'd be great if we could do something like that.
You know, maybe at the bend somewhere.
That is the missing piece of the puzzle.
I know there's a big music study that's been thrashed around here for about a year waiting
to kind of come out and be born.
But you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that that's what it's going
to tell us.
That we need that.
That is what's missing from our from our music, a lot of music ecosystem.
So those things are all true.
Let me ask because the timing of this seems so strange because pre-COVID and pre your
But pre-COVID Chattanooga's music trajectory was unbelievable.
We were getting, you know, the Graham Nash's, the Bob Dylan's, the My Morning Jacket selling
out the Tivoli.
I mean, everything was was going forward.
But we still had Moon River.
We still had good shows coming.
But everything kind of hit a pause.
But I said on this show and I've said on another radio show and I meant it six months ago that
I it felt to me like the city was about to hit another sort of Renaissance with the talk
about the amphitheater that you mentioned with the Tivoli Center.
That's going to be an unbelievable bonus for the city.
So it still felt like everything was moving forward.
And then, you know, then River Band announces it's hitting pause and now Moon River's hitting
So back to my original second part of my question, is there concern?
How concerned should we be as music fans in Chattanooga right now?
Or is this and part B of that going back to the other thing you said, is this an industry
kind of reset thing?
Is it a city thing or more of an industry thing?
Because that's what I'm hearing and feeling.
It feels like an industry kind of reset.
That's a lot.
I got over a little bit of the middle of that, but I got to just and look, I think it's an
industry thing for the most part.
I do not think I mean, and Ted and the AC folks have been very, very clear that this
is nothing that we've done or haven't done.
I do think it's an industry thing.
And look again, one thing that's happened between then and now is that AC has been acquired
by a loud nation.
And I look, I do think that we need more competition, free and fair competition.
I'm not the first person obviously to suggest that there's some issues around the lack of
competitiveness in this space.
Lab Nation has done a great job of rolling up a lot of this business.
And that comes with probably some benefits, but it also comes with some real downsides.
And so, you know, it just changes the bargaining power between any local place and where they
choose to do their thing.
But I got to say, right, like, I remember when Soundcore started back in the day, I
mean, Barry, we're roughly contemporaries, you know, you couldn't get it.
There was the music scene here was terrible.
There was nothing we couldn't get the buses to stop going from Nashville to Atlanta and
George Parker, you know, made a run at this for a while when he was at the Tivoli.
It was AC that changed the game for us.
It was them who really put Chattanooga on the map and we and since they took over programming
at the Tivoli, that's what's caused the spike.
I mean, full stop, you know, I mean, Nick and his job or his team do a great job over
But it was AC that made that happen and nobody should be confused about that.
However, right, like that relationship is great, still great.
It is these macro issues with with the industry that I think are responsible for this.
The only thing I'll say to just specifically to Barry, your question and your response
to him that the is this more of a national scope kind of thing?
I think that there's truth to that.
What Moon River did this past year was put all their pricing at levels on a national
level, from concessions to ticket pricing, which was already pretty comparable to the
industry, but certainly within the concessions.
And I have a little bit of insight to some of that.
And the only insight I have is from that angle.
And that's where a lot of the blame is coming from in the hallways of that world.
But I mean, I don't know how much I mean, this town is great.
I mean, we're we're kind of kind of we're a frugal town.
I was about to say a cheap town.
I was that we're a frugal town.
We spend our money wisely.
We don't necessarily buy tickets in advance.
Sometimes you want to know for sure we're going to go.
I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing.
I wonder if the pricey might have been part of that.
I'm not really asking a question.
I'm just making a point.
My question is Riverbend, obviously, for those who don't know, who are not as local to us,
has been was our 40 year gathering on the river.
It got by all accounts of people from this show got better and it's likely done.
But that's a lot of people you've known that you would hear, you know,
whispers from your friends, from your colleagues about the Moon River brass.
They would have moved.
They came from Memphis in 2018.
They would have gone to Kentucky if they found a good deal.
They would have gone to Rome, Georgia if they thought it would have worked out there.
But they chose here.
So my point of that is, is that that's not necessarily those aren't Chattanooga people.
You know, those aren't people you're necessarily on an email chain with or a text thread.
Did you hear about this?
The hiatus, I put that in major air quotes.
Did you hear about this when we all did or were you getting whispers at any point in the off season?
That they were potentially going to take a pause and are at least taking some time off?
I think probably not coming back, but that's just.
Yeah, no, we had we had heard that they were thinking about it.
And obviously, we we we worked with them to see if we could, you know,
work out any issues that they might have had to make it more appealing to,
you know, to to carry on with the festival.
And ultimately, that didn't that didn't happen.
But to your point about Riverbend, right.
The festival environment has changed.
And, you know, there was a time when, you know, when when Riverbend was perfectly viable.
But, you know, things have gotten a lot more competitive.
And, you know, look, it's unfortunate that both these things have happened at the same time.
You know, Riverbend sort of crapping out as well as as well as Moon River leaving.
But I do think it's an opportunity.
We had a lot of great conversations.
I was briefly on the on the Friends of the Festival Board.
And look, I mean, wasn't any secret that Riverbend was in some peril before.
Right. It wasn't. I mean, sure.
That Chris Cobb and those guys did a great job of the musical programming.
But there's a lot more to a festival than that.
And so, you know, the conversations that we've had and had since then have been
what can we do, whether it's Riverbend or Moon River or anything else. Right.
That would be comparable to Chattanooga, what Jazz Fest is in New Orleans. Right.
Not not just something that reflects our local musical culture,
but food, visual arts, the whole nine yards. Right.
That's that's I think what we need.
And whether that's whether that's something we kind of try to stand up this year
as a trial or whether that's something that we that winds winds up being a reconstituted Riverbend.
I think I think, you know, if there's some temporary pain during this period of change
that we have to endure to get there, fine. But I think we would I think that would be
a really cool thing for Chattanooga if we could figure that out.
And to that point, I kind of want to address this
for people who are not in Chattanooga or close by, I don't think this is I don't think we are unique.
I think a lot of cities are probably having these kinds of conversations. Right.
That's why part of why I wanted to have you on here.
This show is a has a national footprint. We hope.
You know, I used to joke we're big in North Korea.
The game analytics said we were a bot.
Yeah, the bot, but whatever.
So to that point and back kind of back to the Huntsville and some of the other cities,
there are things that can be done. Right.
I mean, it's not just you. You don't.
I don't know. You don't get on Reddit or whatever and say, hey, I'm the mayor of Chattanooga.
Please bring your festival here. There's a lot of infrastructure.
There's a lot of commitment. Police, public works, all of those things.
And Chattanooga did that and has done that.
And I assume will continue. But also the chamber has done some studies.
The Soundcore, Brian mentioned, is committed to helping local artists, musicians.
So there's a lot that has to happen.
But the other thing that I've observed is you can't force it.
Like I remember there was a study years ago, like the question was,
what does Chattanooga want its musical identity to be?
As in that we want to be bluegrass or country or whatever.
And thankfully, everybody in the room says you can't come that way.
It has to happen. Yeah. Well, it may be that we can help it a little bit because we've talked a lot.
You know, again, one of the surprising beneficiaries of this is actually the state of Tennessee.
A lot of people don't realize that if you kind of x-ray our sales tax rate,
the big winner when we sell a hot dog is the state.
You know, out of nine and a quarter percent local sales tax, six percent of that goes straight up the pipe to Nashville.
Straight away. Right. So the commission of tourism is a big winner,
as is our local, you know, pet and your tourism company because of the hotel motel tax.
And so, you know, that's that's a relevant part of the conversation. Right.
We just have to I would also say like we have that infrastructure.
We're really good. Our police department's really good at managing events.
And you you can make it happen.
It's if you want to dig in your pocket and go spend a million bucks to draw some but to incentivize somebody in or guarantee
that they'll make X number of dollars, which essentially is what Huntsville is doing.
You know, hey, again, it goes back to sort of the the lack of or the consolidation of the of the festival industry.
But look, I would much rather see us grow something from the bottom up than than to just kind of try to do some store bought B.S.
and make it happen from the top down.
As far as Moon's Moon River specifically, I when I asked you, had you heard in advance,
is there any negotiations with not necessarily Drew Holcomb and his and his crew,
the the originator of the founder of the of the of the festival?
Is there any negotiations of sorts?
Is it was it like, hey, we we're lacking this.
We need more of this from you.
Or is it much more simple than that?
No, I mean, complex more than just, hey, we're just we're just looking we're taking the year off.
Get back to Tim. See you later. Bye.
Look, there are I think they would love to figure out a way to get more people in the venue.
They want to be able to sell more tickets.
I mean, that that much is clear.
I mean, we can't change the venue at Coolidge and we wouldn't want to.
It's a fantastic spot, right?
I mean, everybody loves it.
But I was shocked how many people we ended up putting up there in there to begin with.
Me too. Beautiful.
You look. Yeah, it's it's cool.
And the artists love it.
And this is the one thing I can tell you that's different from AC and every other promoter
we've ever dealt with. AC understands that the artist experience is as as important
as the customer experience. Right.
And I think Drew Holcomb would tell you, I mean, it's fantastic.
But the economics of the economics and we can only put, you know,
so many people in that spot.
You know, I would like to have thought that there was a way to, you know, to man.
I mean, I guess they could have raised the price.
But, you know, again, at the end of the day, there wasn't any one thing.
And, you know, and again, we're going to work hard with them in the,
you know, in the intervening year to see if we can figure out how to bring it back,
because you're never going to compete with their logistical expertise
and their and their and frankly, the you know, the weight they carry
from a booking standpoint.
But but in the meantime, again, I think we can do something cool.
And it's a great opportunity and a great teachable moment for us
to rally the local community around what's important.
What I also wanted to say around our identity, our musical identity,
is that it is frustrating.
I think you guys are you guys get it as well as anybody that, you know,
Memphis is a blues nationalist country, right?
Upper East Tennessee's bluegrass.
What the hell is Chattanooga?
And and trying to figure out a way in between. Right. Right.
But I mean, try selling that in an elevator. Right. I mean,
I mean, how do you we all know what it is?
It's kind of like a, you know, the old the old supreme court definition
of pornography. Right. You know, when you see it.
Yeah. I mean, Chattanooga has this really cool, funky.
I always think about old Bruce Hampton, the Aquarium Rescue Unit. Right.
This weird fusion vibe musical scene, but it lacks a meme. Right.
It lacks a simple way to express to your point, Barry.
I would love for that to just sort of bubble to the surface.
But I think it may need a little help to bubble it to the surface,
because I think if we can do a better job of encapsulating it,
we can do a better job of selling it. Yeah.
I mean, out of those conversations and Moon River proved it
and some other nightclubs that opened over the last couple of years,
what we learned, AC, as you mentioned, was very key
in committing into into the city and bringing in music,
but also people outside of the city discovered that they could travel here,
pretty much park their car at their hotel and walk anywhere
they wanted to go to a restaurant and a bar and a music venue.
That's an advantage that we have.
All structural advantages are huge. And they would tell you that. Right.
We have the hotels. We know how to do event management.
But, you know, I mean, and that's not nothing like having that
institutional competency, the managing even stuff like Iron Man. Right.
We are good at this stuff.
But when you got cities like Huntsville that are that are willing to write checks,
it's kind of like the old joke about the kids.
So ugly, you got to tie a pork chop around his neck to get the dog to play with it.
Well, we're not willing to tie pork chops around our necks
because we're not an ugly kid in that regard. Right.
And I don't think we need to do that.
I think we just have got to again, some of this stuff is a think
is due to, you know, post pandemic inflationary pressures.
We will be fine in the long run.
This is definitely a blip, a hiccup.
I can't say exactly what it will look like, but I think, you know,
my job as mayor is to make sure that we come out the other side of it
better than we went into it.
Well, I'd like to speak to that real quick, Tim, that we will be better
or fine or well, this is not going to derail the city.
Not every city has a really big, cool music festival.
I mean, they they just don't.
And I mean, I'd like to think things like Main Times,
24 have kind of become the celebration of the city.
That's one I know you'll at least agree with that to a certain degree.
That's become that's my favorite.
Yeah, I do. Big, big celebration of the city.
I want to speak real quick, though, to the the amphitheater
for my generation.
And we're not too far apart in generations, but just a little bit.
I would say the amphitheater discussion
is kind of like the old high speed rail discussion, which is now back.
Yeah. In the discussion points here locally,
but only just in the discussion portion of this.
I know there's a little bit of funding, but
I've been hearing about an amphitheater since I was 15 years old
and I've been going to amphitheater since I was about 17, 18 years old.
Yeah. And thinking, boy, it'd be nice to have one of these.
And I just don't believe for a damn second, we're ever going to get one
after hearing about it for 27 years.
Well, here's part of the problem we've got.
And this extends well beyond, you know,
issues around live entertainment
is that Chattanooga is a midsize city in a tough position.
And we are not as big or as wealthy as in Atlanta or in Nashville
or even Huntsville.
Huntsville on per capita basis is a much wealthier place.
And so it has had to Barry's earlier point, kind of a depression
era mentality, kind of a loser's limp, honestly, of like, oh, that's bullshit.
It's never going to happen.
And by the way, oh, I'm not going to.
I mean, there are good reasons people don't buy tickets early.
Like, again, in the aggregate, it's not a wealthy community.
And that changes people's mindset.
Right. I mean, you're seeing this stuff
play out now around the stadium debate.
Right. And people, I mean,
back to the aquarium, people hated if you go back and read the newspapers
around 1990, people thought the aquarium was a terrible idea.
Right. That'll never happen.
That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard.
And I'm not mad about it, but it's just one of those
unfortunate side effects of living in a place.
I mean, look, that's why the Tennessee Valley Authority was founded.
This is a very poor place.
And people had had like Charlie Brown had had a very poor life.
People had had like Charlie Brown had had the football pulled away from him
a thousand times. Right.
And so that mindset lingers on.
But I'll be damned, you know, as a mayor, if I'm going to say, oh, well,
the hell with it. Right.
I mean, it's just a dumb mindset.
I do think we can get rail service.
And I do think that we can figure out a way to build an empathy.
And really, yeah, sorry to catch up to it.
And really, just until recently, really, maybe since Volkswagen,
certainly this century, people are coming here before that.
This is a very settled community.
Yeah. In the in the in the late last century, you know, the last 50 years.
This was a place that people came because it was it was a very affordable place to live.
There were a lot of things to do, maybe not like, you know,
yeah, modernized the way we know now.
But there were things to do and it wasn't far away.
And so to get people like that, and I don't mean those people,
I don't mean to sound like that, but to say, hey, we're going to do things
different over here. We're going to build a fish tank. Right.
Like I understand why people are slow to come around to that,
even in the more modernized world where we're at now.
And unless you want to start talking tips now on the show,
I don't think that's where we want to go.
Well, I mean, we can't talk about tips because I mean, look, tips are
it's really frustrating that we've never figured out a way to explain
tips better to the public.
I mean, part of it goes back to the to the basic,
you know, cognitive
bias mistake that somehow you can equate household finance with
with municipal finance. Right. They're not the same thing.
Me tips running like a business, Tim, run it like a business.
In this case, it is more like a business.
You also can't run a business like you run a household
because you have more available tools. Right.
The thing about a tip is it is the benefits of the stuff
that you do in a tip are paid for by the investment in the tip.
The taxpayers are paying for it are the people who are buying property
in that because as those property taxes rise,
you're taking a percentage of the increment in that property tax
to pay the debt service on the thing you've built. Right.
So it's it's the closest thing to bootstrapping or kind of alchemy.
You can almost make two plus two equal five.
It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.
So they definitely work again. You want to see how they work?
Go to Huntsville.
Huntsville has done a number of them without a lot of controversy,
by the way. And so it does come down to vision
and getting away from that kind of crab pot mentality,
that negativity, that glass half empty
mentality, frankly, that has plagued this place for a long, long time.
Yeah, I always to me, it's sort of trying to just to explain it to people.
I use the examples of restaurants and even the Riverwalk.
You build, you know, the Riverwalk doesn't bring in a dime per se.
There's no ticket.
You don't pay a ticket to go there,
but it transformed that whole part of the city and it just makes it cool.
It makes you feel like you're living in a cool city.
Restaurants are another good example.
You know, if you have good restaurants, it just feels better.
If it's the same old meeting three, it's you know, well, and again,
the music is the same, which is to continue the analogy, Barry,
if you were to go to the bank and say, I'm going to borrow some money
to buy a restaurant. Well, how are you going to pay me back?
I'm going to pay you back because this is going to be a great restaurant.
We're going to make a lot of money and that's going to generate
the proceeds to pay you back.
That's kind of how a tip works, right?
Like there's no taxpayer paying for that,
except that it is happening through the sales tax collections
and the property tax collections from City Hall.
All right, man, we've kept you.
First of all, I wanted to say,
it's not in my nature to pick up a phone on a Saturday morning
and call the city's mayor or send him a text and say,
hey, can you give up an hour on a Sunday morning?
But to my earlier point that I knew you to be a music fan,
I kind of figured you would want to talk about it.
Absolutely. I can't thank you enough.
I can't believe you didn't have any Bonnaroo questions.
Well, I was about to say, before we get out of here,
Tim, I got to think you're the most frequented Bonnaroo patron
that's a mayor in this country.
I think that that's a fair guess.
Your thoughts on this year's lineup and just your past experience
with Bonnaroo in general?
Well, look, I think you can see the economics of the festival business
reflected in this year's lineup, right?
DJs are a hell of a lot cheaper than live music.
Well, young people like them a lot better than Neil Young.
It's fortunate that they do because they're also a hell of a lot cheaper.
So I think with the consolidation, I think you're talking,
look, it's a company like any other company
and they have an expectation in terms of return on invested capital.
And I hate it, but unless you're a nonprofit entity
standing up a festival for your local city, that's the business.
Now that said, I've already bought my tickets.
I'm going. I'm always going to go.
I really don't look hard at the lineup.
I don't make my decision to attend Bonnaroo based on the lineup.
I just love it.
I love the culture and the environment.
And I love the smaller stages.
So I'm excited and looking forward to it.
Yeah, we're regular.
I know I say it.
I'm sure we all do at some point.
Who's a Bonnaroo this year?
It doesn't matter.
Is the venue any good?
I mean, I'm going to see Barry.
Is the lineup any good?
I don't know.
It doesn't matter.
The main stage, don't like it.
Never liked it.
I liked the what stage.
I liked that stage.
I mean, you know, I can, you know, I generally go VIP.
I'm old and I'm spoiled in that regard, but it's just, you know,
You don't have to apologize for that, Tim.
And I generally don't stick around on Sunday night.
So, you know, if anybody's interested in my VIP passes,
you can pick it up on Saturday.
How many have you been, Tim?
How many have you been?
I would guess upwards of 10.
I mean, yeah, I lost count.
I can show I'm going to walk.
I'll show you my, my hallway back here is,
is covered in an old boundary posters.
You can see that one.
The, the, I think the,
the big thing people miss is, you know, the charity auction.
They auction off all these posters.
So you guys are probably missing out on that because nobody,
nobody participates and it's a going VIP and buying all the
Well, they're not even expensive.
You know, y'all should, everybody needs to hop in on that.
But yeah, I think it's been,
I've heard my first bond route.
I'm not like a, you know, Jeff styles or probably one of you guys.
I mean, I think my first one was probably, um,
I'm trying to say I'm gauging this off my son's age.
Cause I took him to say, Jay Z to see Jay Z.
You know, I want to say that was 2000 and maybe, uh,
Probably 2008. Does that make sense?
Uh, something like that.
That's me. Well, what about last year? That was such a cool moment.
Uh, you presented the key to the city.
That's two years ago.
Was it two?
I think it was two years ago.
Yeah, last year was, I, I,
I had a schedule conflict last year.
I was only able to go for a day and it was not a great day, but, uh,
Um, but no two years ago is very, very cool.
That was a hell of a honor and a privilege and just a really cool
I think it was a really cool moment.
Um, yeah, it was, uh, that was super cool.
Whose idea was it?
Uh, you know, one of my staffers who's a, you know, it's amazing how many,
as they were shot fans, uh, I have in the office that I didn't know.
Matter of fact, we just hired a new comms guy who worked for John Bell
Edwards, the, the, uh, governor of Louisiana.
Um, you know, redheaded white guy.
He moved up from Baton Rouge.
He's like, you know, huge on Zara shot fan.
So, uh, the guy, uh,
has a incredible following and it's proud.
You know, it's a really cool thing that he's a Chattanoogan and it's a
cool thing to be the mayor.
I was shocked about that because we didn't get a heads up on that.
Um, which I was surprised, but luckily I ran into you and you told me about
it. And then we scrambled, uh, some of my biggest, uh,
numbers on Twitter actually were the video I made of that.
His popular, his popularity, his popularity,
his popularity, his popularity, his popularity, his popularity,
his popularity blew me away at the time.
I'll admit it. I never heard of the guy, the guys from right here in town.
I'd never heard of the guy. The place was, yeah.
I mean, look, I'm not a big hip hop guy. My wife is.
And so she knew and she, she, and then Dylan Rivera,
who was a member of my staff reached out to his mom and kind of made it all
happen to his credit.
Uh, but you know, when I, uh, you know, and my, my son had, I mean,
I, I saw, and there was some,
I think I was in Brooklyn visiting my son's first time I ever heard his name.
And I was like, wait, he's from Chattanooga. What? Uh, so anyway, uh,
very, very cool in retrospect and, uh, an honor.
Well, and we actually, uh, a future episode of this show,
we interview, uh, Olivia, uh, from the paper. Uh,
and we talk about this,
she took the picture for the Chattanooga Times free press.
And the way it came down for me is I got a text from Ted Heining,
who you mentioned just a little bit ago, pretty much.
I was in the room with the mayor of the city a little bit ago.
President of AC said, are you coming to the,
The mayor's going to present Isaiah with the key to the city.
And I'm like, mayor of what Manchester, which mayor?
Why is he given?
And he was like, no, Tim Kelly.
And so we, I tent her a quick text and we rallied and.
The Ken Weinstein allowed, uh, Olivia and Nate Gale.
And they got Allen to come in tonight.
And he was the first who produced this show,
that he is the director of the first 10.
the STEVE program for channel, for the technique and for sure for
channel only nine.
To go in, you know, beyond the usual three, first three songs.
Just a great, a great event for Isaiah.
And it's parents were there, right? His family was there.
Cool thing that you did.
Well, so I wanted to mention that.
It's looked this is going to pay dividends.
Cause I again, I'm I'm a musician.
the health and vitality and the vibrance
of the local music scene,
which was always kind of there
in a low boil beneath the surface.
It's continued to get bigger and bigger
and better and better.
And I don't see that stopping.
I don't see the toothpaste going back in the tube.
And so all of this stuff is, you know,
this is a blow up.
Again, I'll say that again.
Chattanooga is a musical town.
It's going to be more of a musical town.
And, you know, our job is to organize these assets
in a way to make sure the world knows that.
Well, I'll tell you what, too,
real quick before we wrap things up,
that the local music scene and local people
didn't love the idea of Moon River being here.
Certainly not at the jump.
And they might've warmed up to it a little bit,
but I don't think it's any indication
or any indictment or anything to have anything to do
with this city.
We were fortunate that we had a nice little spot
for them to plop in here.
They ran out of time.
They ran out of room in Memphis.
Five years ago, I mean, I can't prove it.
I was like, okay, that's great.
They'll be here for a few years.
And then, you know, they'll hit the road
and find somewhere else.
If it's successful, they'll move.
And I think that's probably what's happening.
And I don't think that has anything to do
with this city at all.
Now the Riverbend thing, you know,
that's a little bit of a heartbreak on that one.
We could spend another time on that.
But I think this is just a passing fad.
And we've got plenty to work on that.
Well, I'll tell you this.
With or without them.
Yeah, with or without them, as you say, I mean,
I will not leave the mayor's office if I can help it
without making sure that there is some festival here
that is reflective of local art, local culture, local vibe
that is sustainable and again, more reflect,
more and more directly reflects who we are as a city
and all that kind of wonderful complexity.
So trust me, that is high on my list of priorities.
You know, I do a local podcast.
It's all about things people say in this city
and I will not leave the mayor's office until I insert here.
I got that mark.
Underline it in red, brother.
Cause I'm dead serious.
I might even AI it too.
And we'll really have some fun with it.
Go for it.
Well, you guys, you guys did what I was gonna ask
is the wrap up.
The one thing I will ask Tim,
cause I can just hear listeners out there.
Can you put a number on 2025?
Do you think we have a moon river in 2025
or you think it's gone?
I don't, you mean like handicap it like a percentage?
That's a tough one.
Cause I think that there's a lot of that stuff to tap,
you know, it's not within our control.
It is, you know, they got a lot of places
they could put plop that thing down to Brian's point.
And who knows, you know, it's kind of like,
in fact, it's exactly like economic development.
Like I work with the chamber all the time
on these big projects, you know,
is this thing going to go here?
Is it going to go to South Carolina?
Is it going to go to Kentucky?
It's a poker game, right?
And you know, how much do you want to,
how hard do you want to, you know,
bend over backwards to make it happen?
It's kind of as a bit of a math problem in that regard.
So, you know, we'll see.
I would say it's probably a coin toss,
but you know, if not, I will say if we don't,
then we're going to figure out something else
because not having a festival here is not an option.
That much is true.
Man, I can't thank you enough.
Thank you, man.
Thanks for the opportunity.
Thank you guys.
Good to see you.
Enjoy the rest of your day.
And I can't wait to see you at the next show.
Headed to the Chinese New Year celebration.
But if I don't see you before then,
I'm sure I'll see you guys around Bonnaroo.
All right, so there you go, Brian.
Let me ask you first.
No, let me ask Ross first.
What was your takeaway?
What do you, what's your elevator speech from that show?
I mean, it sounds like pretty much what we already thought.
You know, it's not coming back or at least not to that space,
which is a shame because, you know, last five years we've we've gone
and we've loved it and we've covered it.
And so we don't exactly know what that's going to mean going forward now.
Brian, take away.
Yeah, I mean, the takeaway is that likely not not coming back
to the location that it is also fortunate to have a a really cool mayor
who gets, I'll just say, hip things, things that are on the radar,
things that people of certain ages care care about.
And that was very, I think, obvious in the way that he responded
to just this quickly to be on with us.
But losing losing both our festivals is adds a kick in the,
you know what, around here.
I mean, we I'm not happy at all about it.
And I've not been I have not been particularly impressed
with Moon River recently, not the not the organization and the people.
They treat us like gold.
The festival itself, the genre specific nature of it.
I thought was kind of constrictive.
Like, I think it kind of kept it from from being the bigger boulder
that it wants to be.
I'm not as big.
I'm not as big a worried about losing them as I are our other festival Riverbend.
But to lose them both just is like it's deflating, you know,
going into a new year, it's deflating.
And to hear our mayor say specifically, I will not leave,
which he's run of reelection in case anybody wondered in the next
lesson year or so, which he will very likely win.
So he's got four years to fulfill this.
He won't leave the office until he brings another festival
to town or creates one.
It's a pretty big promise.
And we hit record on that promise.
Yeah, we definitely have that.
I agree with both of you on that.
I thought the I thought my first takeaway was that
probably not coming back and it's not that big a deal.
I think I and I get what he's saying.
It the fact that we lost them both.
That's what that's the part that hurts.
That's like the soul.
That's the part that hurts.
Losing Moon River.
If you just said, hey, let's just pick some stuff out of thin
air that might happen.
Moon River moves.
I agree with I agree with that.
And part of it is because we get acts that come to those that we
don't we would not see otherwise.
So so that's a big loss.
The other thing and we really didn't focus on it.
And it's my fault for not bringing up earlier is and I
really should have because he mentioned it twice.
He thinks part of the reason it's maybe leaving is that
that site was too small.
And we didn't talk about that.
I'm sorry for throwing that at you guys right now.
But when it came, that was the target size.
The boutique festival, 10 to 12,000 people was exactly what
So we might have to revisit that in a later show.
Well, the idea that it needs to be bigger.
I never knew to me bigger.
Yeah, anytime I've been there, you just think this is the
And I never thought this should be 10 times.
That was news to me.
We need to we need to revisit that later.
And I apologize.
That's my fault for not catching that and talking about it
We're not when you're thinking as a patron, you're not
thinking as an organizer and everything's got to be bigger.
It's got to get a match.
How it works.
It's always got to be bigger.
And I hate that.
I really do.
Good enough is a fine place to be in my life.
Good is not the enemy of great.
I am says that we were getting that.
I would have had to give Tim ship.
Tim always says, there it is.
The Bryan Stone credo.
Good enough is a fine place to be fine.
You know what the enemy of great perfection, perfection
is the enemy of great.
You'll never be great if you're trying to be perfect
and you'll never be good if you're only trying to be great.
Remind me next time we introduce Brian.
Good enough is a fine place to be.
That's what I go with.
How's it going?
You know, I am I'm glad you mentioned line up, though,
because that's one thing we've heard is that it's a tough year
to book festivals and it's kind of reflected
in some of these lineups.
But then you look at also this week,
Bourbon and Beyond came out and we're
going to spend a lot of time talking about that
in the future episode.
But that line up is outstanding.
And we are.
That's just four or five hours from here.
Yeah, we don't typically do teasers,
but that's a good teaser.
We're going to talk about that probably if not next week
and the week after.
But that line up is almost fake.
It's so good.
Who made a mock lineup around here, you idiot?
Get out of here.
Well, thanks again to you guys.
And thanks again to Tim Kelly.
I hope that show was good enough.
Thank you guys for listening.
Instead of never not great, we're
going to be just good enough.
Just good enough is a fine place to be.
And I'll see you guys next week.