Updated 08/10/2012 10:31 PM
East Ave Fest Evolves to Deal With Weather, Concern From Businesses
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East End's final festival got off to a slow start, with rain and lightning creeping in just as set up began. But loyal festival attendees took to dancing in the rain – literally.
After a storm completely washed out June's festival, organizers included additional venues to weatherproof the event.
"We shrunk the footprint considerably," said John Hutchings, festival organizer.
Weather concerns were coupled with ongoing complaints from local businesses about the festival's impact on their sales.
“The stages were competing with each other. The stages were so loud, you couldn’t hear inside the store. We had to close the store. We put a little pressure on the festival to change, not to end, but to change," said John Bernunzio of Bernunzio Uptown Music.
That led organizers to incorporate surrounding businesses into the event.
"We don't have stages in the street, we have a band on Easy on East, we have musicians playing in the uptown music store and another musician playing in Henry B's where we have a VIP event going on," Hutchings said.
Festival organizers say they intend to continue the festival next year.
"We still have to go back to the drawing board and do some compromising. There are some permits that have to be applied for but it's always been our intention to continue," said Hutchings.
Festival attendance bounced back as the rain subsided, continuing to draw visitors of Rochester to follow the sound of the music.
"It's a nice place. I wanted to come downtown, enjoy it a little bit, see what it has to offer, it's something new," said Caleb Taylor.