On August 10, 2013 Oswego held the first Beats and Eats festival
at Prairie Point Park.
The event’s goal was to “celebrate diversity” through music, food and art. Approximately 800 people attended the event, which featured eight regional and national bands and a diverse food selection from food trucks and vendors.
Oswego business owner and resident Macey Brooks approached the Village with the idea in late 2012 and in April of this year the Village Board approved.
The Village contributed $10,000 to the event from Community Relations and Brooks was responsible for acquiring funding and sponsorships for additional expenses. He ended up putting $18,000 of his own money into the event.
And by the numbers presented to the Village board last Tuesday, the event fell flat of making a profit and would have been in the negative save for the personal investment of Brooks.
Beats and Eats spent a total of $54,877.66 on:
- Entertainment of eight bands: $20,300
- Logistics: $32,927.84
- Advertising: $1,649.82
Beats and Eats earned a total of $62,813.30 from:
- Village’s Community Relations’ contribution: $10,000
- Macey Brooks’ contribution: $18,000
- Sponsorships: $10,000
- Food Vendors: $3,850
- Ticket and beer sales: $17,402
- Euclid reimbursement for alcohol purchase: $3,561.30
Thus, the remaining funds after the event are $7,935.64.
Brooks suggested that he is interested in splitting the remaining fund at 50 percent each for himself and the Village, resulting in $3,967.32 each.
However, Village Attorney Karl Ottensen said that there is actually no contractual obligation for the Village to split that money, because the Village did not recoup its original $10,000 investment.
“So as per the contract, that is our money,” posed trustee Gail Johnson.
“It is supposed to be the Village getting its money back first,” said Ottensen. “As a first time event if you think it’s fair to split it, that decision is up to you.”
That decision could not be made Tuesday evening, as it was discussed in a committee of the whole meeting. The motion will be put on a regular village boad meeting agenda in the future.
Village staff has recommended that the Village consider working with Brooks to host another Beats and Eats in 2014, but said some issues would have to be worked out.
Trustees commented on some of those issues, the most notable being that it was very unclear who was in charge of the event.
“Half the time we couldn’t find Macey and were told by [his] volunteers it was “none of our business, this is our event,” said trustee Pam Parr. “We have to clear up who is in charge. People thought this was a Village run event. IF we’re going to contract with a private for-profit, we need to make sure that’s very clear.”
“I don’t think we put as much thought into it as we should have,” said Giles. “There’s room for improvement.”
But trustees all expressed an interest in keeping the event going, with some changes.
“I think we should establish a policy and have a certain amount designated for it,” said trustee Judy Sollinger.
“I would like to see this go forward as well,” said trustee Scott Volpe.
The board has plans to discuss the future of events and the policies of them at future meetings to determine if Beats and Eats and other events are something they would like to continue to support.