Editor's note: This article originally was published Aug. 18, 2014.
In a sudden change of plans, York-based singer-songwriter Kayla Kroh won't be performing with about 110 other acts at the first-ever Central PA Music Fest this weekend.
The threat of rain — and the possible damper on ticket sales — caused promoter Nick Song to announce in a Sunday night e-mail to bands that the festival will be rescheduled.
Although the Friday, Saturday and Sunday event is advertised as "rain or shine" on its website, Song said that was posted before he had learned that owners of the venue, Lauxmont Farms in Lower Windsor Township, want to preserve the grounds, which could be damaged during the event if saturated by rain.
The festival also needs to sell 3,000 tickets — at $49 each — to break even, said Song, who in June said he expected a turnout of between 3,000 and 4,000 people. Organizers are hoping to hold the event sometime in October but will need to hash out possible dates with the venue, said Kelly Farner, operations manager of the festival.
Song said he doesn't believe the event will be canceled altogether, "but no one is really helping the situation by making negative comments and spreading rumors."
Disappointment: As of Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service's forecast for the venue's location calls for a 30 percent chance of rain on Friday and clear skies on Saturday and Sunday.
"I've been to festivals where there's been worse weather predicted than this," said Jody Kroh, Kayla's mother.
The Krohs have family and friends flying to York from out of town to see the 16-year-old perform this weekend, she said. Now, they'll have to enjoy a private show around a campfire instead of one on the big stage, Kroh said.
"(Kayla's) very upset ... She was excited to share another new original, so she was disappointed," Kroh said.
Kayla Kroh won first place in the festival's "big break" contest and will earn the top prize of $10,000, Farner said. The 10 contest winners will still earn their prizes, she said, although they were initially supposed to receive them during an awards ceremony before Kayla's performance on Sunday.
"For (Kayla) to get recognized and win that $10,000 and walk across that stage, she was so excited," Kroh said. "That moment can't be replaced."
For a first-time festival, organizers "shot really big," and she said she'll be more hesitant before booking her daughter with them again.
"I truly believe (Song's) heart is in the right place ... I just think it was too big, and I'm hoping that he can somehow rebound from all this and be successful," Kroh said.
Pay: York-based musician and comedian Elijah Cross said the news made him angry and disappointed.
"Not since Milli Vanilli has 'blame it on the rain' sounded rather suspect. To 'reschedule' due to possible rain doesn't make sense, as this was being advertised as an event that would happen come rain or shine ...," he wrote in an e-mail.
Cross said it's becoming clear that "there is no money to pay everyone who was told they'd be paid, and that's the reason for what I think will officially become a cancellation of this event."
The full-time musician said he was going to put the gig money toward recording his debut album.
Festival performers agreed to a contract that states payment will be made immediately following their performances. Song said every act that plays at the festival will receive a check.
Proceeds from the festival were to go to the building of a free music and arts school in York City, Song said.
"The youth deserve an effort better than this, and the people who invested their time, talent and resources deserve an honest explanation as to why their investments have been wasted," Cross said.
From abroad: Although Jason Wolfe Greene, singer and guitarist in the Hershey-based band JR Wolf, was disappointed at the announcement, he said he wasn't surprised.
"We did schedule for this event to be on Aug. 23, and there is a serious opportunity loss presented by not having this weekend available," he wrote in an e-mail. "The greatest thing would be to play the festival as scheduled, but I would settle for the amount owed to us."
Management of Pittsburgh-based band The Show released a statement saying organizers failed to adequately promote the concert and that the postponement is "unfounded."
"They have claimed it is because of weather, yet the forecast shows no threat of severe weather or weather (inclement) enough to discourage the average festival concertgoer ... The failure of this event is solely the promoter/producer's fault in this instance," the statement says.
Song said the best way to make this event happen is to buy tickets, which are available at www.centralpamusicfest.com and will be refunded if the event is canceled, he said. A crowdfunding website is also live at www.indiegogo.com/projects/central-pa-music-fest-2014.
"We're doing as much as we can to push it through, to make it happen, but we can only do so much," Song said. "Ultimately, at the end, it's everyone's effort."
— Reach Mollie Durkin at firstname.lastname@example.org.