The Sunset Junction Street Fair, a music festival that has been running annually in Los Angeles since 1980, has been officially canceled after the city’s Board of Public Works denied organizers permits to hold the event this weekend. The five-member panel unanimously rejected pleas from promoters who failed to produce $141,000 in fees to cover the event.
The festival, which was to include sets by stylistically disparate acts such as Hanson, the Butthole Surfers, k.d. lang, Peaches, Bobby Womack and the Melvins, is now entirely scrapped. It is unknown whether or not the artists, promoters or volunteers will be compensated.
The Sunset Junction organizers owed the city $400,000 in unpaid fees for the 2010 and 2011 events. The nonprofit Sunset Junction Neighborhood Alliance faxed a document showing that they had received a $100,000 loan from the concert promoter Live Nation to bail them out of the mess, but Board president Andrea Alarcon dismissed the gesture, saying that it was not an indication that the funds would be available to pay for the permits. “I do see a deposit of $100,000, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot,” she said.
The sudden loan from Live Nation did not improve their standing at all. A spokesperson for City Councilman Eric Garcetti accused the organizers of trying to “flimflam $400,000 from the taxpayers” and noting that coming up with a large sum of money at the last minute “shreds their credibility even more.” “They should have spent the last 12 months coming up with the full amount,” he told the Los Angeles Times.