Fridays After 5, Not Free?

It looks as if the free ride with Fridays After 5 may be coming to an end. For fifteen years, acts of local, regional, and national note have performed for crowds of thousands on the east end of the Downtown Mall without cost, supported by sales of alcohol and sponsorships. Citing declining sponsorship dollars, Charlottesville Downtown Foundation is considering instituting an admission fee of $3-$5. In addition, they may end up banning outside food and drink, so that vendors at the event can have a monopoly on sales and, presumably, the amount that they can pay CDF will increase. No decision has been made on these things yet, but it seems as if the organization’s hands are tied. Lisa Provence has the story in this week’s Hook.

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