Two weeks ago, Doug Sohn and the production company behind Dog Dayz of Summer first discussed the possibility of cancelling the festival after poor ticket sales. Today, Criterion Productions announced they've cancelled the festival, scheduled for June 24 and 25. They're saying ticket refunds will soon be processed. The festival, in its second year, centered around Hot Doug's sausages and music.
"It's a bummer," Sohn said. "It was so much fun last year. It was great seeing everybody, the music lineup was terrific. For me, I got to have my food again, a really nice array...but it just became unfeasible."
The numbers were concrete, Sohn said, as the fest wasn't profitable. He didn't want Criterion to risk anymore than they had: "It's just sausage, no one needs to lose jobs, their company, anything like that."
Sohn's aware that some, especially Internet commentators, will relish in the festival's demise, wanting Hot Doug's out of the spotlight almost two years since it closed. The cancellation was purely due to financial reasons, Sohn stressed. He believes it reflects more of an over-saturation of Chicago street festivals than folks not interested in encased meats.
"It's interesting for just not us, but in the next few years for a lot of festivals," Sohn said. "There's just so many now. Growing up you had Blues Fest, Chicago Fest, Jazz Fest, and you were kind of done."
So when's the next time loyal fans can nosh on Sohn's encased meat creations? There's still his bleachers stand at Wrigley Field —Sohn's home away from home this summer. But other than that, Sohn said he's got nothing scheduled.
"Whatever [hit] I take, if any, it's going to be a PR hit," he said. "Whatever, we'll move on. But I've dealt with this before."