Each year, Ken Dahleen and the Idyllwild Summer Concert Season board begin the season with a budget but insufficient funds on hand to pay for the season’s expenses. But each year, through the generosity of patrons and sponsors, they close the season without a deficit.
This year, even though the lineup was stellar, there were two Thursday concert days with either rain or the threat of rain that depressed concert attendance. Consequently, going into the last concert there was a significant deficit.
After the last concert, much of that deficit had been erased, but Dahleen and board remain nearly $3,500 shy of the projected season budget. “It may be OK,” said Dahleen. “Generally, what I need is a little less than what I budget. There are still some outstanding bills. It looks like it will be close.
“Donations at the final concert were the highest for the season. Doug [Austin] worked it from the stage and that really helped. People really pulled the money out.”
Dahleen said he was especially grateful to the Idyllwild Fire Department. “They stepped up and were a huge asset,” he said. “Each week they made their own decision about attending. It was so nice to have the flag there with the ladder truck.”
Asked about what might be next for year 17, Dahleen said, “Usually I don’t think about the lineup until sometime after Christmas. I’ll definitely bring back some of the most successful groups. Probably, also the cowboy music group [The Red Hot Rhythm Rustlers – from Arizona]. They were a hit. But I also like to change it up and bring in new groups.
“Who could have imagined the success of this project when we first began? It’s just grown and grown. Hopefully, next year we’ll still be able to be in the same place [the Idyllwild Community Center site.]”
Dahleen laughed over how early people come to set up their chairs prior to each concert (the day before.) “I supervise everything but that I don’t police,” he said.
Donations may still be sent to Idyllwild Summer Concert Series, P.O. Box 1542, Idyllwild, CA 92549.