BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - City-parish officials in East Baton Rouge Parish balked at the idea that the Bayou Country Superfest concert series is in trouble. The music festival set for this Memorial Day weekend at LSU's Tiger Stadium is experiencing sluggish ticket sales leading up to the event.
The Advocate newspaper on Wednesday highlighted several issues with similar concerts and festivals elsewhere.
Mayor-President Kip Holden said what started as an 'idea in an office building' has grown into a phenomenal event.
"When you look at it, maybe it's slow this year, but last year was better. And when you wait until it gets closer and even the day of, you will see more and more people coming in," Holden said. "Right now the numbers are premature."
Visit Baton Rouge CEO Paul Arrigo, whose job it is to sell Baton Rouge, said the city is better off with the festival than without it. Arrigo said he will have to wait until next week before he can see what kind of impact the festival will have on Baton Rouge's hotels.
"We look at everything every year and the impact it has on visitation," Arrigo said. "What might be out there to bring in that amount of business? It's no different than New Orleans offering a tremendous amount of money for the Super Bowl or the Olympics or anything else."
Arrigo said barring anything crazy, the concert is here to stay.
"Now we have an opportunity to showcase Baton Rouge as a major destination on a weekend when there is normally people leaving town," Arrigo said. "Local people are staying in town and visitors are coming to town."
The concert is partially subsidized by taxpayer funds from both the city-parish and state governments.