LIFT-OFF GROUNDED: Organizers pull the plug on summer festival

LIFT-OFF GROUNDED: Organizers pull the plug on summer festival
The Cornwall police service is still owed as much as $5

CORNWALL, Ontario – The Cornwall Lift-Off hot air balloon and music festival has come to an end after a 20-year run.

Terry Muir, Lift-Off chair, made the announcement in an email to local media on Friday (Nov. 27).

After much deliberation the board of directors has made the painful decision to not proceed with any future events,” read the statement.

Organizers voted to cancel Lift-Off 2015 in April, citing an inability to garner major sponsors.

A draft Lift-Off budget document obtained by Seaway News in February showed some $67,050 in administrative costs that also includes previous debt accumulated by the festival.

“After examining the past and upcoming financial situation the board has come to the realization that it would not be practical to continue operation, as the financial status of the event does not permit progress,” read the statement. “The loss carried forward from 2013 made it insurmountable and the board was not able to raise the funds needed to pay off that past debt and to book entertainment for the upcoming year.”

Lift-Off – formerly known as Ontario’s only hot air balloon festival and Cornwall’s signature event – regularly attracted a crowd of roughly 50,000 to Lamoureux Park over a four-day period in mid-July.

Over its two-decade span, the festival’s lineup’s included, Marianas Trench, 54-40, April Wine (with Cornwall’s own Roy Nichol), Dean Brody, Rough Trade, Collective Soul, Finger Eleven, Dennis DeYoung, Glass Tiger, Our Lady Peace, Chantal Kreviazuk, Sass Jordan, Loverboy, Platinum Blonde, Kim Mitchell, Tom Cochrane, Randy Bachman, Amanda Marshall, Burton Cummings, Sloan, and Theory of a Deadman, to name only a few.

Muir thanked the many sponsors, volunteers, and supporters that made the event possible for 20 years.

“Without you this festival would never have happened.”

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