Baker said, “It is a great thing for us. It is an obstacle sometimes when you call an agent with William Morris or CAA and they find out it is a free show, they are a little hesitant of doing it because it does make the artist look cheap. They are very conscious of that. But I have been pretty luck getting the Jason Isbells of the world.” The council talked about the Rock the South concert in Cullman which can cost $40 a day and is enclosed by gates. Smith said outlying cities enjoy the overspill it causes, but she said many families also cannot afford to go. Smith, who has helped in planning for the festival since it began, indicated if Foothills was a paid event, the city would have to figure a way to block people in the downtown area once they got a ticket. Moreover, if a family walks in with their family, they can shop the local businesses and the vendors. She noted the festival is Los Reyes’ and Warehouse 319’s biggest day of business for the year, and Lavish Coffee Bar saw bigger business. Also, while some may not go to purchase jewelry, for example, during the festival, they are exposed to products and customers will later return. “We had one couple fly in from Chicago last year just because it was go pay a ticket or come,” she said. “I know it is bringing people in here who are seeing our community, and we have an impressive downtown, so they come back.” Baker said he starts getting phone calls within three months of the end of the festival to talk about the next year’s festival. “A lot of people look forward to this more than anything else during the year,” he said. Smith said, “If we do anything, I would say we would raise a little bit more on what the vendor fees are, because ours are not in comparison with some of the other places.” She added that charging would probably lose support in the community. Cowen leans toward having a free event, but he said $5 a head would not hurt. “You’re talking about $150,000,” he said. However, Smith questioned how the admission charged would be handled, and brought up again the fencing. It was noted that the event was fenced in once before. Baker said charging has pros and cons. He noted that visitors are going into restaurants for a cup of beer and then going to their car to refill with more alcohol beverages from a cooler the rest of the day. “It is happening and the businesses are losing money because of that,” he said, adding there is not enough police to monitor it. When the mayor asked what it means that $65,000 is enough, Baker said to get the necessary acts, one has to take a chance and get them on the way up in the career, which happened with Isbell, or after their peak when they are “heritage acts.” He said it is a fine line in deciding. To get Isbell now would cost $320,000. “That number will get us the entertainment that we need that will satisfy somewhat of a blanket market in this demographic,” he said, as a free event. Smith added the budget would have to balloon to get ticketed acts. Baker said Rock the South’s budget is about $4.5 million just for the performers. Baker said it doesn’t make sense to spend $20,000 on sound and lights, as the city now does, and not have major acts to draw. He said that after five years, it is important to note thousands of people have come to the festival and only three arrests have been made. “I know who were arrested, and they deserved it,” he said to laughs. “But that is a testament to the type of acts that I book. You can’t have — if you book a David Allan Coe here, you are going to have a bunch of whiskey bottles and things like that. You have to book class acts.” Baker said the 2016 festival was the biggest edition, although last year was slower as money was slim to work with and the festival had to compete against area concerts with Eric Church and Chris Stapleton. “It hurt us,” even though the festival ran smoothly and many were happy with it. “I would love to have that 2016 crowd again.” O’Mary and some council members say they have heard criticism from some local businesses not located downtown about why acts are not performing closer to them, as well as criticism about why the businesses are not paying for it if businesses benefit — although the festival’s website, http://www.foothillsjasper.com, has 31 businesses listed with the city as sponsors. The mayor said it is a cultural event, while Cowen said it benefits the city through quality of life to create ties to “the Yorozus of the world.” Smith agreed, saying many people or young people might not step outside of Walker County to see acts like this. Gambrell said it was a very positive thing for the city, and that the fact the city will offer it free of charge “says a lot about Jasper.” He also said Baker had performed a good job with the festival.