Possible Britt season expansion meeting delayed

JACKSONVILLE, Ore. — For the first time in 58 years, Jacksonville is without The Britt Music and Arts Festival. Now it’s looking to bounce back next year with an elongated season and make that change permanent.

“Not only does it bring additional acts into town and they can book outside of the current range of time frame from June to September,” said Amanda Moreira with the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, “but also kind of lets Britt plan around any unforeseen events like our fire season.”

The festival hopes to extend its season from May to October permanently to recover lost money after the season was canceled this year,  it normally operates from June to September. The Britt currently has a conditional use permit from the City of Jacksonville, this limits its window of possible revenue. “We kind of count on that Britt season to kind of keep our small businesses going,” Moreira said.

“For local businesses in general, I don’t know that it’s going to have a big impact plus or minus,” said Linda Graham, owner of Scheffel’s toys in downtown Jacksonville. She said she’s in full support of a season extension but thinks most people going to Britt are regional and aren’t buying retail. Despite not seeing a huge increase in her business with the change, Graham said she supports anything extra the city can get. “I hope that it works out for them and any added bonuses to the businesses in Jacksonville I’m all for it.”

Britt was supposed to meet with the city’s planning commission Wednesday, due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the county, that meeting was canceled and will be rescheduled for a later date.

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