Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) officials announced Wednesday that due to declining attendance numbers, Music Under the Stars would not be presented this summer.
Via a news release, MCAD officials shared, “After 36 years, the outdoor program will go on an extended hiatus while the future of the program is reevaluated. The difficult decision was made following several years of declining attendance as well as budgetary challenges at the Chamizal National Memorial caused by funding cuts at the national level.”
MCAD officials added that attendance has decreased 96 percent during the past ten years, despite the addition of more touring and Grammy-winning headliners. At its height in the early 2000s, attendance averaged 12,500 people per concert.
In addition, last year, federal budget constraints for the National Park Service led to an abbreviated season that drew sparse attendance of a little more than 500 people per show.
The data, coupled with federal budget cuts that affect the National Parks Service/Chamizal have led the Museums and Cultural Department to reconsider the 2020 season.
“We are proud of our long history of showcasing El Paso’s talented local musicians as well as bringing nationally and internationally known artists to this concert series,” said Deputy City Manager of Quality of Life Tracey Jerome. “As entertainment options across El Paso increased, we started to see a decrease in this program that made it unsustainable at this time.”
While Music Under the Stars is going away, MCAD and the city still provide other free, outdoor concerts to the community, such as the Summer Concert Series at neighborhood parks organized by the Parks and Recreation Department, Cool Canyon Nights, and Alfresco Fridays.
For information on upcoming concerts and events, visit MCAD’s Facebook page.