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Lewisporte council ‘disappointed’ with Mussel Bed Soiree planning

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LEWISPORTE, NL – Lewisporte town councillors are concerned that planning for Mussel Bed Soiree 2018 is not where it should be.

As of Dec. 5, there had been no committee meeting and no musical acts signed.

Finance chair Coun. Brian Hopper wants to know what’s going on.

The town secured funding in October for $340,000 – essentially half of last year’s budget – for a scaled-back festival, following losses two years in a row that had a combined deficit of at least $130,000.

“We approved the funding on Oct. 24. It was of an urgent nature at that time … there was supposed to have been a preliminary budget approved for two reasons,” Hooper explained, to allow for the booking of bands by early to mid-December and to have a Christmas sale on tickets as was custom in the past.

“There has been no Christmas sale, there will be no Christmas sale, and it would be unrealistic at this point. How long do we go without preparations being started?” Hooper charged.
“Council held up its end of the bargain, we moved things aside to accommodate this, and I’m very disappointed.
“It’s not to the point where I would have anticipated it to be.”

Deputy Mayor Krista Freake was appointed as a liaison with the organizing committee to keep council in the loop on Soiree plans.

Freake said while there has not been a meeting yet, correspondence indicates a list of bands is being put together to fit the budget.
Stage size, rental fees and other production-related items are also being considered.

Freake said the town’s special events director is currently on family leave and expects a meeting to take place upon his return.

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