Concert cutback feared in Bancroft blues series

       The annual “Paint the Town Blue” music series - set in Bancroft Park the past three years - will be scaled back from eight concerts to six this summer, unless fundraising is successful between now and April 12.
       In the past, the series has featured eight local blues bands between June and August, playing for free early Thursday evenings in the Bancroft bandstand or at nearby taverns if it rained.
       The Pikes Peak Blues Community (PPBC) has produced Paint the Town Blue since 2003, moving the concerts to Old Colorado City in 2006.
       According to Laura Hibbitts, board president of the PPBC, the total cost of putting on the shows for the summer is about $7,700, mainly for musicians, sound crews, park permits and advertising.
       Last year, these expenses were mainly covered with help from the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) merchants group and Pikes Peak National Bank, grants from non-profit groups and the city waiving its nearly $1,000 parks permit fees. However, with a weak economy, the non-profit grants have dried up and the city is no longer waiving its costs. Another $5,000 is needed to afford all eight concerts this summer, Hibbitts said. Without more assistance, the most that PPBC members believe they can afford is six.
       For more information, call 685-1861 x42, or go to PikesPeakBlues.org.

Westside Pioneer/press release