LouFest 2018 cancelled

Adler Bowman, web editor

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Mike Van Hee, LouFest’s managing partner, released an official statement at 1:45 a.m. Wednesday Sept. 5, 2018 on behalf of all festival coordinators. He announced that St. Louis’s beloved ninth annual music festival, scheduled to take place in only three days, had been cancelled. Van Hee stated that “several financial hurdles” were the most prevalent reason for shutting down, including the loss of sponsors, scheduling issues and the inability to make up for these costs solely by ticket revenue. The second main cause for the cancellation was due to weather, as tropical storm Gordon is expected to bring heavy rain to St. Louis throughout the coming weekend. As all of these events collided a week before the event, LouFest schedulers truly faced the perfect storm.

“We feel that it would be irresponsible to continue to invest in an event that might not be able to realize its exceptional potential,” Van Hee said in the released formal statement.

Van Hee states that LouFest does not currently possess the funds to repay each ticket buyer immediately, but their team is working with Front Gate Tickets to eventually refund every ticket purchased. According to Van Hee and the LouFest team, the music festival organizers now find themselves in massive debt. This creates a ripple effect, hurting every artist, producer, sponsor, vendor and small business involved in the organization of LouFest 2018. According to an article published in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Alex Donley, Gioia’s Deli owner, doubts he will be able to earn back the amount of perishable stock he purchased for the event.

“That’s about three days worth of salami that we’ll have to go through,”Donley said in an interview with the St. Louis Post Dispatch. “It’s quite a bit we’re stuck with…Some of those employees were dependent on those hours.”

According to St. Louis Public Radio, many aspects of LouFest preparation occurring this week raised suspicion of ticket buyers and production crews. Hundreds of wristbands had not yet been mailed out, and light and sound assembly crews received late payments. In his announcement, Van Hee admitted that “there has been wide speculation around our event”.

Casey Nolan, KSDK news anchor and reporter, reacts to Van Hee’s statement that LouFest’s downfall is partially attributed to the media.

 

Lyda Krewson, Mayor of the City of St. Louis, advocates for those suffering from the festival’s debt, and urges St. Louis citizens to support vendor who are currently facing extensive setbacks.

Kevin C. Johnson, pop music critic for the St. Louis Post Dispatch, mourns the loss of his in-depth coverage of the cancelled event.

Moon Taxi, a band scheduled to play at LouFest, expresses a disappointed reaction towards the cancellation.

 

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