MSHSAA music festival may leave MU's campus next year

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COLUMBIA - The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) kicked off its state music festival Thursday, drawing thousands of students and their families to the University of Missouri.

The 66th annual music festival has called MU's campus its home for more than half a century. However, its future location is uncertain. For 2018, MSHSAA bid out the music festival to cities statewide.

According to Davine Davis, the assistant executive director of MSHSAA, the association has received two proposals, one from the University of Missouri and one from Missouri State, in Springfield.

"We're working through the process of reviewing everything," Davis said. 

"At the June board meeting, when our board of directors meets, they will be making a decision about where it will be for the next five years starting next year." 

Amy Schneider, the director of Columbia's Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the community worked to put together a solid bid to keep the festival in Columbia.

"We went out and got some sponsorships to help offset some of the costs for MSHSAA coming in the future and it was a long process," she said. "It was a process I'm proud to be a part of." 

According to Schneider, the festival makes a huge economic impact and shows Columbia in a positive light. 

"So that is three days that the University of Missouri has 10,000 students on its campus and the city has those 10,000 students-plus shopping, buying gas, eating at our restaurants, spending a night in our hotels," she said. 

The high school students participating had to receive an exemplary rating at one of Missouris' twenty district festivals in order to qualify for the state music festival.  

(Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct a misspelled last name.)