Rumors have been circulating for several weeks about the financial crisis facing Festival Network, the company – formerly based in New York and San Francisco – that purchased veteran promoter George Wein's Festival Productions in 2007. Now, DownBeat is reporting that the company, which it says has lost "millions of dollars," has laid off staff and axed nine of its 17 music festivals for the coming year. Its office in San Francisco has been closed.
Not on the 2009 schedule are festivals produced by Festival Network in Martha's Vineyard, Miami, Jackson Hole, Mali, Chicago, San Francisco (not to be confused with the San Francisco Jazz Festival produced by SFJAZZ), Whistler, Los Angeles and Paris. No word on the state of Festival Network's showcase festivals, including its jazz and folk festivals in Newport, the Playboy Jazz Festival in LA, and the JVC-sponsored jazz festival in New York City. The JVC North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam – formerly a Festival Network property – will apparently continue independent of the company. Festival Network also controls multi-cultural festivals related to the Olympic Games in Vancouver, London and Sochi, Russia.