MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s relatively quiet if you visit Main Street in Murfreesboro, but the first weekend in May is where that quiet is replaced with the sound of jazz.
“It’s the biggest thing to do in Murfreesboro as long as I can remember,” said Robert Tank.
From 7th-12th grade, Tank was on stage performing at the city’s annual Jazz Fest.
“It was kind of the moment where you got to be seen and show off what you’d been working on all semester long,” he said.
For over 25 years, this event transformed into one of Murfreesboro’s largest events, bringing thousands to Main Street to enjoy free jazz music.
But the sounds of free jazz music will no longer fill the air of Main Street.
“I heard rumblings through the grapevine about a month ago,” Tank said.
A few days ago an email was sent to band directors across Rutherford County notifying them that Main Street Murfreesboro was ending the festival.
“Can you be more specific about what you’re doing with Jazz Fest?” said Peter Colin. “Can you be more specific about the reason why?”
Colin is a former band director and long time attendee who saw the email, and is disappointed in the decision.
“There’s so much brand equity in Jazz Fest,” he said. “It’s the anchor of what Murfreesboro offers. For it to be going away, you couldn’t fathom that.”
The email stated costs and negative impacts to downtown businesses as some of the many reasons the non-profit could not continue hosting the festival.
“There’s got to be enough shared interest to keep Jazz Fest going and keep it in its current form…maybe modify it some,” Colin said.
Right now there’s no clear plans on what will happen next, but both men hope the festival can find a way to continue on in Murfreesboro.
“Those people were and are still there and would like to continue hearing Jazz Fest,” said Tank.
The email also stated Main Street Murfreesboro did reach out to Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro’s Park and Recreation Department as well as many other groups and individuals to take on the festival.
Their executive director stated in an email that no on was interested.
News 2 did reach out to Main Street Murfreesboro’s executive director who said she plans to send a press release about this issue at a later date.