The organizers of TenSixtyFive have announced that the free music festival held annually in downtown Mobile will not take place in 2019 due to the lack of necessary sponsorship funds.
TenSixtyFive, which would have been going into its fifth year in October, was launched after Mobile’s long-running festival, BayFest, ended abruptly in 2015.
With some initial support from the city, DMG Productions, Inc. and the Jake Peavy Foundation joined together to host the inaugural event, which featured acts like George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic and the Dirty Dozen Jazz Band.
However, after four years of providing Mobilians with free music, organizers say the funds just aren’t there to support the festival at the level that fans have come to expect. However, a statement DMG Productions released Friday hints at future plans to bring music to downtown Mobile.
“We have established an expectation within our organization and with our party-goers about the kind of festival we want TenSixtyFive to be, and at this time, DMG simply cannot meet that expectation,” it reads. “However, we want the community to know that we are not going away — we are simply sharpening our pencils and getting back to the drawing board. Our goal is to create an event that is sustainable, can continue our vision and is up to the standards of our citizens, sponsors and supporters.”
Lagniappe reached out to The Jake Peavy Foundation but has yet to receive a response. City of Mobile, Spokeswoman Jen Zoghby said the city is “disappointed” about the news, adding the festival was “ a great thing for Mobile.”
More information will be added to this story as its received.
You can read DMG Productions’ entire statement below:
“Nearly five years ago, Mobile was stunned by the last-minute cancellation of BayFest. In response, DMG Productions, Inc., along with The Jake Peavy Foundation, numerous corporate sponsors, and the City of Mobile pulled together TenSixtyFive to fill the civic void left by BayFest.
The inaugural TenSixtyFive event incorporated locally-owned restaurants, galleries, bars, and other vendors by encouraging foot traffic up and down Dauphin Street—the heartbeat of downtown. As support and excitement for the event developed, DMG Productions realized that the potential of TenSixtyFive was so much more than a concert. TenSixtyFive became the perfect vehicle for a common goal shared by its creators: to showcase what our great city is, and what it is becoming, by putting Downtown Mobile in the spotlight. Over the 4 years of the festival, we estimate more than 100,000 people were in attendance to hear local and national music acts and experience the revitalization of Downtown Mobile firsthand.
Throughout the years TenSixtyFive has been sustained by our gracious sponsors. These sponsors and their commitment to our community is what made TenSixtyFive possible. We would like to thank all of our sponsors for their unrelenting support over the past four years. Their love for the City of Mobile and their ability to share the vision of TenSixtyFive with DMG Productions cemented them as the champions of TenSixtyFive, and we will be forever grateful.
If our sponsors are the champions of TenSixtyFive, then the 100,000 plus fans who attended were our heroes. The community support for this event was absolutely inspiring. Anyone who attended TenSixtyFive will tell you it was an awesome, laid back street party with a feel-good vibe. Thank you to all the Party Animals (Mobilians and others) who came out in support of our city.
Since the beginning of TenSixtyFive, DMG Productions has faced many hurdles. Each year, our team of volunteers (yes! they worked for free!) did an amazing job at staying focused and overcoming countless obstacles to execute a flawless event. We have been unwavering in our quest to keep the party FREE.
From the beginning we said, “NO gates, NO tickets,” and this truly was the backbone of the entire event. Partygoers came together to support our downtown district and promote Mobile knowing that no one was “getting rich” on lofty ticket sales or overpriced beverages.
This year, as the first weekend in October approaches, we are confronted with the painful reality that we do not have the necessary sponsor funds to deliver this free festival to Mobile. Year after year, we have established an expectation within our organization and with our party-goers about the kind of festival we want TenSixtyFive to be, and at this time, DMG Productions simply cannot meet that expectation.
However, we want the community to know that we are not going away—we are simply sharpening our pencils and getting back to the drawing board. Our goal is to create an event that is sustainable, that can continue our vision and that is up to the standards of our citizens, sponsors and supporters.
We acknowledge and share in your disappointment that TenSixtyFive will not exist in festival form this year. We submit to you as an organization of volunteers that our intention was to find a way to make TenSixtyFive happen, and facing this reality has been extremely difficult. TenSixtyFive is close to all of our hearts, and it brings us great sadness to deliver this news. We want you to know our decision was not made lightly or hastily.
DMG Productions looks forward to a time in the near future where we can throw our hat back in the ring. We will do our best to bring Mobile a version of TenSixtyFive that is sustainable and can carry on the promotion of our great city for many years to come.
Party On, Mobile. See you out there.”
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