The West Virginia Division of Culture and History has announced it will discontinue its “Doo-Wop Saturday Night” outdoor concert at Camp Washington-Carver in Clifftop, Fayette County. Over its 18-year history, the annual July event featured some of the world’s best-known “oldies” groups, including The Platters, The Drifters, Chubby Checker, The Coasters and The Shirelles.
According to Ginny Painter, director of public information for the Division, the decision was made because the cost of putting on the event has escalated in recent years, crowds have diminished, and ticket sales no longer cover the event’s expenses.
“Many of the original groups from the 1950s, 60s and 70s do not tour anymore,” she said. “The crowd has dwindled in the last few years, in part because the artists available to us don’t have a lot of name recognition, and in part because the audience for this music is smaller than it was even 10 years ago. A lot of people enjoyed this event for many years but now it seems to have run its course.”
Painter said event organizers tried some new twists last year in an effort to bolster attendance, but the concert still drew a smaller crowd than the agency had hoped.
“There is a loyal group of people who have supported Doo-Wop by attending the concert for many years. They will be disappointed we had to make this decision and we understand that,” she added. “Unfortunately, we just couldn’t afford to continue to offer this particular program.”
Painter added that the agency will direct its resources toward continuing to develop a number of other programs at the camp, including the successful Appalachian String Band Music Festival, which brings thousands of music lovers from around the world to Clifftop each summer. Other events planned at the camp this season include two Family Homestyle Dinner Theater productions, a week-long African-American Heritage Arts Camp for young people, and an old-time dance weekend.
For more information, call Painter at (304) 558-0220, ext. 120.
Visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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