The annual October Santa Barbara Festival of Arts & Jazz has unfortunately been cancelled as of April 1, 2008. Basically the festival has outgrown its restricted venue and the organizers made the decision to cancel rather than produce a smaller “gated” event that would not be able meet the expectations of the artists, sponsors and public.
In order for this annual visual and performing Arts festival to maintain itself as a self funded “free to attend” community celebration, Anapamu Street immediately adjacent to the Courthouse Gardens was required for the placement of food vendors and sponsor pavilions. Due to pressure from surrounding businesses and the Downtown Organization, the City of Santa Barbara has revised its street closing polices and will no longer allow a 3-day street-closing permit that was required to economically produce this festival without an admission charge. Keeping the festival free to attend with the support of sponsorship and vendor income was in the best interest of the public and artists and key to the festival’s future success.
The festival organizers would like to thank all the artists, musicians, sponsors, vendors and the tens of thousands of attendees over the past 10 years who have supported this very special festival. A special thank you to the Santa Barbara Fine Arts Association, the Santa Barbara Jazz Society, The Santa Barbara Performing Arts League and the Santa Barbara Rotary Club who have participated and benefited from this production over the years.
Local resident Stephen Millard, President of Main Events International (MEI) who has subsidized as well as donated all of his time and expertise over the past five years to produce this signature community festival will continue to provide consultation to major arts and music festivals around the county and his long running company owned arts festival in Dallas, Texas.