Interim Report: Cityfest

Todd Hestand

A Corzo Center grantee (2017-18), Cityfest was conceived as a one-day music festival built on the five-year successful festival called Beardfest that  the founders offer in South Jersey. Cityfest is to be in the city targeting an urban audience and offering a day of local musical talent. One might think that with five years of experience, it would be easy to establish a second program, especially since it was to be a one day event. The principal – Jeremy Savo, a 2017 BFA in Music Performance – found that was not the case. He has learned some things which he wants to share:

“Reflecting on the work I have done towards this new event in the past year, it occurs to me that many people in my shoes would have moved forward and had the event within the initial timeline, whereas I chose to wait. I am waiting until I have the event in such a way that it is set up for long-term success.

Beardfest 2018


“If a program is to survive beyond a couple of years, it must have the following:

  • A venue that reflects the event's vision and can attract the audience;
  • Genuine support, if not enthusiasm, from those who control the venue;
  • A financial plan that allows the event to be offered at a reasonable price; and
  • Real support from the city.

“Without the right space and the support of the venue and the city, it is foolish to begin even if you have the talent in place, reputation to draw an audience, experience, and logistical details worked out. Don’t plan for a one-off. You must plan for sustainability and a long term success.”

Beardfest 2018

This is an interim report because the three founders – Jeremy Savo, Sam Gutman, and Zach LoPresti – are still at work to make it happen. Stay tuned.