10,000 Lakes Dries Up

The latest victim of the ongoing economic turmoil gripping the country is Midwest jam band shindig 10,000 Lakes Festival. Organizers announced Dec. 18 that the popular summer event will be taking at least a year off.

A statement issued by Rand Levy of Rose Presents said that despite event continuing to grow artistically for nearly a decade – the 2009 lineup included Dave Matthews Band, Wilco, Widespread Panic and Atmosphere – it was no longer economically viable.

Levy thanked fans for their support and promised that 10,000 Lakes would return once he figures out how to retool it.

“We want you to know we have heard your voices as a community and the 10,000 Lakes Festival wants to deeply thank all of our fans, artists and attendees for seven amazing years at Soo Pass Ranch,” Levy said. “While 10,000 Lakes will be on hiatus for 2010, we believe that the music never stops. It can’t, you make it possible.

“The organizers of 10KLF love our ardent fans and we will do our best to keep the music coming. We strive for better days ahead. We will certainly notify you when Rose Presents promotes like-minded events.”

While Levy and company blame the economy for the problems facing 10KLF, North Dakota newspaper The Jamestown Sun reported a group of the festival’s fans who’ve set up a Facebook page to show their support for the event cite a different reason – Dave Matthews.

Tom Westerholm, who set up the FB page, told The Sun the consensus among festival regulars is that booking Dave Matthews Band – with its higher guarantee and widespread popularity– strained the 10KLF budget and “brought the wrong crowd.”

“Normally it’s a more reserved group, but this year it was more drunk college kids that were just there to see Dave Matthews Band and after Dave, everyone pretty much piled out,” Westerholm explained.

While disappointed fans of the festival wait to see what organizers will do in the future, there is one silver lining: The 10,000 Lakes Web site is currently holding a “rummage sale” with deep discounts on T-shirts, sweatshirts and other event-branded merchandise.