Festy News: Clearwater Will Take Hiatus in 2016, Return Next Year

The Great Hudson River Revival, popularly called The Clearwater Festival, will take a break in 2016. The festival was founded in 1966 by Toshi and Pete Seeger as a series of fundraising concerts to support the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater organization, and by 1978 had settled into its home at Croton Point Park in Westchester County.

Clearwater is currently facing some financial strains due to an extensive restoration of the sloop Clearwater, costing upward of $5,000 a day. Since hosting the large, two-day festival concurrently with the restoration project would be a struggle for the organization, several smaller fundraising concerts are being planned throughout the year. In the meantime, Clearwater is looking for support from the community here.

Sloop Clearwater

The festival draws an average of 15,000 attendees each of its two days and has played host to a variety of local and nation folk and roots-rock artists. While the festival will not be held this year, the organizers plan for it to return in its usual form in 2017.

Read the letter below from Clearwater below:

Dear Friends,

We are saddened to announce that Clearwater will not be holding its Great Hudson River Revival this year. As you may have heard, the sloop is undergoing its largest restoration ever. It is a restoration that costs $5,000 a day and will run until at least June 2016. We must take this time to focus our effort on making sure the boat can sail again this year. The sloop Clearwater is the foundation of our organization, the vessel that brings people to the Hudson River and an inspiration to all who love her. Our work to protect the Hudson River is still our primary mission.

While we will not be having a Revival this year, we will be holding a number of smaller fundraising concerts and events up and down the River throughout the year, and hope to have a larger riverside concert in the fall. Stay tuned and please join us!

If it were not for our members, volunteers, vendors, artists, and many supporters, there would not be a Clearwater. We appreciate your unwavering support as we navigate this difficult time. We ask you to stay with us so that we can Float the Boat and come back stronger next year with a celebration truly worthy of 50 years and an incredible Great Hudson River Revival in 2017.

The Felice Brothers – Clearwater 2015

While we wait for the festival to return next year, revisit NYS Music’s recap of the 2015 Clearwater Festival here.