City should address festival issues earlier

Published 9:37 am Monday, September 19, 2016

Despite whatever misunderstanding or disagreement might exist between city officials and the Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival organizers, we are confident the show will go on.

There is about one week to go before the festival kicks off, and after last week’s surprise board meeting, it is obvious the city council has no desire to upset the proverbial apple cart and throw into jeopardy an event that is a major tourist draw and an economic pull for the city.

Yet it is also quite possible the issue of fees and donations is not yet settled over the long run. Assuming the festival continues to grow exponentially, questions about extra city expenses will naturally arise.

But if we learned anything from last week, it is this: Such questions cannot be answered a month prior to the event. If there comes a time when the city believes its expenses associated with the festival cannot be recouped through existing fees and donations, then the city should address those concerns with festival organizers. But that should happen in October or November — as soon after the festival as is possible, in order to give festival fund raisers an opportunity to secure funding.

Without that notice, demanding thousands of dollars extra from the event will only hurt the event — and the city — and that’s something nobody should want.