Neat Café closes after poor festival showing
Neat Café owner Adam McKinty says he feels “numb and disappointed” but could not afford to keep his business open after losing money on a music festival he organized.
The popular live music venue located in the town of Burnstown, Ont., outside of Ottawa, featured a wide range of known talent, from Buffy Saint Marie to Hey Rosetta, in an intimate setting.
McKinty presented a roster of artists at Neat in the Woods on Sept. 26, hoping to attract 3,000 paying customers, but in the end only 2,000 attended the music festival.
‘It seemed responsible just to stop’
“We hit a situation after the festival where we couldn’t afford to pay all of the artists’ fees, that never happened before and that was probably the thing that precipitated the stop immediately,” said McKinty.
Neat Café has had a history of financial troubles and in the past McKinty had called on patrons to invest in the venue.
He said after his divorce from his former partner he now has to sell off some of the assets, including the house that lodged visiting musicians who played the Café.
“It seemed to responsible to just stop, figure everything out and get square — and if we can start again, we will.”
Hopes to reopen Café after paying debts
McKinty says once the assets are sold, he will be able to pay back suppliers, artists and patrons who have purchased tickets for future shows.
McKinty hopes to reopen the business after he sells off the assets and pays down debts.
The “worst-case scenario” according to him, is the Café will remain closed, but the festival will return next year.
He said he has learned from his mistakes, and will do more to promote the event and secure financial backing. He said the demand is there.
“We have a lineup of people waiting to buy tickets,” he said.