July 11, 2014 9:11 pm
Updated: July 12, 2014 1:26 am

WATCH: Aloha Keloha! Pivotal year for Kelowna music festival


KELOWNA — It’s one of the biggest music festivals in Kelowna attracting upwards of 12,000 concert goers.

But while by all means it should be a blockbuster, that hasn’t been the case in its first two years.

Keloha hasn’t turned a profit in either year of the festival and organizers are making some big changes to get the music fest into the black.

“Typically year three is the make or break and that’s the way we’re looking at it,” says festival organizer, Scott Emslie.

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Despite the downfall in revenue, the music fest itself has been on the upswing, with attendance numbers up 20 per cent last year.

This year the festival is making some changes including less expensive, but still chart-topping acts, a new stage-side beer garden and a $15,000 injection from municipal government grant money.

“Though the profits will go to the organizer, the city still reaps lots of benefits from having it here,” says Mariko Siggers, City of Kelowna events development supervisor.

That benefit is estimated at a $1.5 million dollar economic spinoff.

Another plus for Keloha’s bottom line is a reduction in RCMP costs.

After having relatively problem-free shows the past two years, the RCMP has agreed to scale back its presence at the event, cutting the policing price tag from $20,000 to $10,500.

Emslie says they will look at the success and future of the festival once the numbers are all in, then make a decision on what Keloha’s fate is.

The hope from both the city and event organizers is that the festival will continue on for years to come.

“It’s like our little baby we’ve nurtured,” says Emslie, “we see so much potential hopefully the guests appreciate what we’re doing.”

Single day passes and 3-day passes are still available at the gate for the festival.

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