The Bayou Boogaloo needs YOU!
Friends of Bayou St. John’s main fundraising event, the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo festival, has been postponed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. A full cancellation remains possible, depending on decisions made by local authorities and the financial health of the organization. The postponement and uncertainty are already hurting the workers, musicians, vendors, artists and culture bearers who create our community.
Supporting Friends of Bayou St. John in this campaign will mean direct support for our stakeholders now. It will also insure we have the funds to produce the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo at a later date. The annual festival has an estimated economic impact of three-quarters of a million dollars. And every year FOBSJ donates a portion of admission funds directly to other nonprofits working in our city. We’ve donated over $160,000 since 2006.
The folks who need your help:
Core Employees: Sponsorship revenue has dried up which makes it extremely difficult to pay our employees and 1099 contractors. All money spent on planning the 2020 festival so far is forfeit. The organization has applied for funds from the Paycheck Protection Program but not received any confirmation or approval at this time. These funds would not be available to our 1099 contractors, which make up the majority of our workforce. Friends of Bayou St. John provides jobs for over 120 people each year.
Musicians, Arts & Crafts Vendors, and Food vendors: Over 100 food and art vendors and 30+ bands and musicians were expecting revenue from the May 2020 festival. We have been using our digital platform to create opportunities for the musicians to make tips on live performances since the nationwide shutdown began, investing the organizations time and money. Due to the uncertainty that any events will be able to take place this year, many of our vendors are requesting refunds of their fees.
Neighborhood Organizations & Local Nonprofits: Every year FOBSJ facilities the donation of a portion of all funds collected at the gates of our festival directly to small nonprofits and neighborhood organizations. The Bayou Boogaloo functions as most of these groups’ main fundraising effort for the year.
Not being able to operate our festival in May puts our existence in jeopardy. Disappearing sponsorships, a halt in all ticket sales, refunds of festival fees, reduction in membership, and the need to continue to pay workers have all created a dire cash flow problem. Additionally, the organization’s annual revenue is derived from beverage sales and admission collected the weekend of our event. The impact of a cancellation, whether it’s due to the pandemic continuing or lack of funding, will have a devastating effect that ripples across our community and the entire city.
We kindly ask that you join us in supporting our dedicated employees. Your gift will help provide immediate financial assistance to our workers. Enabling them to stay healthy, so they can return to their work serving our community.
Please help us stay afloat so we can all Boogaloo another day!
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT FRIENDS OF BAYOU ST. JOHN HERE
Our mission: Friends of Bayou St. John is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that promotes stewardship, cultural appreciation, responsible recreation and initiatives that support a clean, healthy Bayou St. John that is accessible to all.
Our Flagship Program: The Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo was started in 2006 as a way to reinvigorate the people of post-Katrina New Orleans and to provide inspiration for rebuilding within the Mid-City neighborhood. FOBSJ established the festival with a mission to restore the social fabric of Mid-City and Faubourg St. John; to connect neighbors, neighborhoods, and businesses; and to provide hope for the future by creating an opportunity for all residents to celebrate the heritage, culture, and diversity of New Orleans.
The festival has experienced tremendous growth in the last 14 years, becoming a staple New Orleans event.
Bayou Boogaloo is a crucial outreach tool; it enables us to collaborate with other organizations, build awareness, and motivate citizens to become actively engaged in matters that affect their community such as advocating for better recreational opportunities from our government agencies.
Because of the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo, Friends of Bayou St. John has been able to reinvest in the community in many ways, including a public art project, tree-planting campaign, public trash receptacles, garbage clean-ups and more.