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Music festival files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

A famous jazz festival in a western state is ending a half-century run, according to business news. The society that runs the festival has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, citing insurmountable debt. Business owners in Connecticut who run into tough financial times can rely on this form of bankruptcy to help them eliminate some of their debt by liquidating assets to repay creditors

According to the society's former president, the members of the board voted in December of last year to file for bankruptcy, but after consulting an attorney, they decided to hold off until the new year. The Chapter 7 filing took place in a federal bankruptcy court on Feb. 23. Previously, despite a Dec. 18 announcement that the festival would not continue, board members hoped to save the society through a reshuffling of budgets. 

Unfortunately, the Sacramento Jazz Society's $33,000 in assets paled in the face of some $222,000 in debt. Creditors include Wells Fargo and the State of California; in addition, the society will provide refunds for jazz fans who pre-purchased tickets for the 2018 festival, which will no longer be put on. The society's board has cited shrinking attendance and flagging interest in the festival as primary causes of the increase in debt. While it comes as a blow to board members, some individual members are already banding together to create a new offshoot of the popular music experience. 

Passion projects in the arts can be costly, and often debt becomes an issue for organizations that attempt to put on yearly events. Thankfully, as some Connecticut business owners can attest, Chapter 7 bankruptcy exists as a way to pay back creditors and discharge some remaining debt. With luck, this filing will allow members of the jazz society to continue a rich tradition in music once they are free of the clinging specter of debt. 

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Sacramento Music Festival organizers file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy", Benjy Egel, Feb. 26, 2018

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