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ENCORE FOR THE GUITAR FESTIVAL

The four-day WNED Buffalo Niagara Guitar Festival came to its electrified conclusion Sunday with two concepts ringing loudly in the region's ears:

Buffalo is thirsty for this kind of event. The thousands of people who attended the various parts of the festival offered raucous testimony to that fact and suggested that backers should consider bringing in even more prominent artists, musicians who could draw an audience from outside the region to downtown Buffalo.

A good idea backed by people who are committed to it can make all the difference, not only for an event like the festival, but for the fortunes of an entire region. The festival was the idea of Donald Boswell, president and chief executive officer of WNED-TV. He nurtured it, massaged it and helped it overcome obstacles that might have prompted others to throw in the towel. He and his other backers did not give up, and the result was a joyful carnival of music that could - and should - become a mainstay of the Buffalo summer.

That appears to be Boswell's thought, as well. Radiant from the glow of this weekend's triumph, he and his planners will soon review the event and begin planning next year's festival, and if during those conversations someone happens to mention Buddy Guy or Johnny Winter . . . well, we won't complain.

Here's to a terrific weekend and the expectation that Boswell and Co. will build on the solid foundation they have created and, even more important, that others with a vision for Buffalo and Western New York take a lesson from this rousing success.

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