Jazz at the Lake presented a one-day performance at Sweet Home on the Lake on Saturday, Aug. 14 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
When the group started their first set it was packed, said President of the Board for Jazz at the Lake Festival Society Eric Allison.
“They actually had to bring in some more chairs from the inside because they ran out of seating.”
Over the course of the day over 100 people showed up to listen to the music.
“There were lots of people at the beach who brought their chairs up to the walkway.”
The feedback from regulars and other people who attended was very positive. The group also got positive reviews from the venue.
“They were very happy. The manager was taking pictures and she told us at the end that we were great.”
This was the first time since the pandemic that Allison, Morgan McKee, and Cheryl Fisher could perform together.
“It had been a year and a half since we performed together because of the COVID pandemic, so it was very gratifying and we had a lot of fun just to be back.”
After the performance, the announcement was made that the festival will be coming back in 2022 for its 20th anniversary celebration.
“When Cheryl made the announcement that we’ll be back with the full festival she had a big round of applause.”
The process of preparing the festival for the upcoming year is a long one.
“When the festival is over, every year the operations team meets and we start planning the next festival as soon as the previous one is over.”
For next year, the idea is to have the same program that was going to be done in 2020, said Allison.
“We had one of the best line-ups we’ve ever had. The Town of Sylvan Lake has purchased a beautiful outdoor mobile stage with all the bells and whistles so we were going to have an all-day all-night extravaganza.”
All the people who were booked have been contacted, said Allison.
“I said to pencil this in for 2022 and we’ll see what happens.”
The crucial part is the funding.
“The Town of Sylvan Lake is our major sponsor and we get a generous grant from them every year but because of the pandemic the Town’s budget is super tight. They’ve already given us the indication that it’s highly unlikely they will be able to give us the grant money for the coming year.”
The size and scope of next year’s 20-year anniversary is dependent on what other grants and sponsors the Jazz at the Lake Society is able to get.
“I’m sure that all or most of our sponsors from previous years will support us again,” he said.
“Some of them have been with us since the very beginning. We will also be soliciting new sponsors, and we will probably have a wine tree raffle since a couple of years ago we did it and it raised a substantial amount of money.”