Adams Avenue Unplugged, the free music festival set for April 26 and 27 has launched a fundraiser on Kickstarter to help pay for the costs of the street fair, which takes over two miles of Adams Avenue for a weekend.
This is the third year of “Unplugged” — before that it had been known as the “Roots Festival” for 18 years. This year, about 150 acts are slated to play 25 venues, including street stages, clubs, coffee houses, and the Normal Heights United Methodist Church on Mansfield.
Scott Kessler, the executive director of the Adams Avenue Business Association, said the festival is a money-loser for the association, which raises about $40,000 a year from its 70 members.
"We break even on the fall festival [the Adams Avenue Street Fair at the end of September], but historically, we lose money on Unplugged," he said. "We're trying to break even this year."
National acts include Peter Case from the Plimsouls, Willie Watson from the Old Crow Medicine Show, and Chris Hillman of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers.
The event costs around $50,000 to put on, Kessler tells the Reader. Bands, staging, and sound eat up about 80 percent of the budget, he said. Most of the remainder goes for advertising.
The money from the Kickstarter campaign will go to pay musicians — appropriate, since the donations include reserved seats to shows by Hillman, Watson, and Case.
"They're doing two shows, one free and then one in the church for a small ticket fee," Kessler said.
As of this writing, Kickstarter contributions have reached just over $1300, with a goal of around $10,000.