RIBFEST calls it quits, are other festivals next?

Looks like $10 for 3 bones festival is over;

“The entertainment landscape has continued to expand over recent years with the opening of Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, The District and soon to be Levitt Shell,” Torkildson said. “SMG is refocusing its resources and efforts to managing and producing events in the venues it manages in Sioux Falls.”

I find it interesting that they would cancel this event right after getting a new contract to help manage Canaries Stadium. Makes you wonder what revenues are really like for SMG in Sioux Falls, or what they are seeing for projections.

I have been hearing rumors over the past couple of months that both CityFest (used to be LifeLight) and JazzFest may be on the chopping blocks also. I haven’t had anyone confirm that yet with me, but I do know that LifeLight as an organization has been liquidating some assets and Rob Joyce is retiring from the Jazz and Blues Society.

While I could give two-sh*ts about Ribfest or LifeLight, killing JazzFest would be very detrimental to summer entertainment. Even if they have to just scale back for a couple of years to one day, I think that would be better than trying to bring it back later. Obviously there is going to be a shift to have more outdoor festivals downtown at the Levitt, which is awesome, but Yankton Trails was a perfect venue for JazzFest. I was told at one time that JazzFest attendees are around 40% out of town (not sure what last year’s numbers were) but many stay for the entire event at local hotels and campgrounds. The economic impact of JF is pretty big when you consider all the city has to do is provide a city park for about a week they we already pay to maintain anyway.

Let’s hope for the best!


#1 scott on 01.10.18 at 8:03 pm

if only south dakota hadn’t put a limit on pay day loans…

#2 Emoluments Clause on 01.10.18 at 8:46 pm

Losing JazzFest would be a shame. I wouldn’t mind having it be cut back to one day to save it, as long as the music would return to all true Jazz and the entrepreneurial white tents disappeared.


#3 Bald-n-Surly on 01.10.18 at 10:26 pm

Alan Green said on my show not so long ago that LifeLight was done because the city put up so many barriers. They didn’t want them in town. I think the city thought it was going to be a traffic issue. And you know, traffic flow is the primary concern.

#4 The D@ily Spin on 01.10.18 at 10:45 pm

The city has taken over public entertainment. It’s not possible for private to compete with public money that’s built Denty, Levitt, etc.. SMG and Nebraska Golf are semi-private entities that exist because they pay consideration to the mayor and some on the council.

#5 The D@ily Spin on 01.10.18 at 10:55 pm

How about Jazzfest, Lifelight, and Ribfest relocated to Mitchell? Maybe move the State Fair there too. SUMMERS IN MITCHELL. It’s not Strong Mayor Charter. Isn’t this the problem in Sioux Falls?

#6 scott on 01.11.18 at 6:32 am

what barriers could the city have put up for lifelight? wasn’t it held at wild water west and then worthing? those are both outside huether’s kingdom.

#7 Bruce on 01.11.18 at 11:18 am

Scott, they have to blame someone for the mess

#8 Bald-n-Surly on 01.11.18 at 12:17 pm

They moved it to Canaries stadium last year as a day of service and music event. They wanted to get away from just being an entertainment event and put the focus on the mission, which is to help people. But the city made it very difficult, according to Alan, and then basically told them they couldn’t do it again. That’s my recollection. I think it’s still available on my podcast.

#9 Scott D Hudson on 01.11.18 at 12:19 pm

Something tells me that Mr. Green isn’t telling the whole story, and also has some unreasonable expectations of city assistance.

#10 The D@ily Spin on 01.11.18 at 7:18 pm

I’m aware of 70 acres outside city limits not far west. It would be perfect for the 3 Events city corruption will not authorize without bribes.

#11 Jeff Barth on 01.11.18 at 11:38 pm

I am now thinking about ribs!

#12 Warren Phear on 01.12.18 at 8:28 am

Baldsur, could you post the link to that interview? Would love to hear. A lot here I do not understand, or is not clearly pointed out.

#13 l3wis on 01.12.18 at 8:34 am

There are 3 parts, not sure where he talks about it;


#14 anominous on 01.12.18 at 11:55 am

I thought Lifelight said they were going to Iraq.

#15 Bald-n-Surly on 01.12.18 at 1:11 pm

Thanks Scott. Now I don’t have to find it. I don’t think Mr. Green is special in this regard. The city doesn’t want to have anything to do with any sort of sporting or entertainment event that involves streets or public places. That wasn’t always the case. Somebody threw a switch and everything changed. I can’t get anybody to tell me what happened, but something did.

#16 scott on 01.12.18 at 10:59 pm

i’m sure the exception to this would be diamond jim’s motorcycle parade.

#17 l3wis on 01.13.18 at 3:15 pm

Looks like JF is taking a different approach this year;


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