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|Genre||Rock, blues, R&B, folk, pop|
|Location(s)||West Palm Beach, FL|
SunFest is a musical and art festival held annually in the first week of May in West Palm Beach, Florida. SunFest is the state's largest waterfront music and art festival and attracts more than 275,000 visitors.
The first SunFest in 1983 was a 10-day festival. The organizers incurred a debt that took three years to pay off, so they reduced the festival to three days in 1984. In 1986, its organizers decided to charge a $2 admission, and the event spanned five days by 1992. As of 2014, admission costs $25 at the gate, and is budget has expanded from $280,000 in 1984 to $2.2 million. The 1991 festival had the biggest crowd ever with 345,000 people.
Sunfest was founded in 1982 by Sunfest of Palm Beach Country Inc. This corporation consists of twenty-two board members, twenty-four committees, and more than eighty sponsors. One of these sponsors, the "Palm Beach Cultural Council," funds Sunfest Music Festival annually as a way to promote art and culture in Palm Beach County. Other funders who have helped create the festival include: State of Florida,'Department of State,'Division of Cultural Affairs, and Florida Arts Council. These funders have allowed Sunfest to be a private 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Sunfest Music Festival has received a lot of referrals from the Palm Beach Cultural Council's executive director Will Ray. Ray's goal for Sunfest is to provide help to other cultural groups. Ray stated on his beliefs about sunfest, "SunFest represents a very talented and experienced management and marketing force that should be used throughout the year," Ray said. "SunFest is really a giant in the festival industry because it has that management and revenue base."
- College scholarships: Over the past ten years, SunFest has awarded $40,000 in college scholarships to high school seniors in the areas of visual arts, instrumental music and choral music. Through The Palm Beach Post’s Pathfinders Awards Program, the student receives $1,000 a year for four years. For the SunFest Music Scholarship, the applicant must plan to major or minor in music, have an overall grade point average of 2.5, be nominated by their high school, submit a completed application package to The Palm Beach Post and participate in the Pathfinder interview process.
- Helping neighbors: Each year, SunFest will give away complimentary tickets to area organizations and individuals who would not be able to attend the festival. Since the start of the Helping Neighbors program, SunFest has given away tickets to underdeveloped populations.
- Fundraising tickets: SunFest is happy to make a donation of tickets for fundraising purposes to eligible events and causes whose activities enhance the greater community.
- "Florida: SunFest". Local Legacies. The American Folklife Center. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
- Crouch, Lori (November 24, 1995). "Sunfest Broadens Horizons: Organization Helps Launch Other Events". SunSentinel. Retrieved 11 November 2014.