Less than 24 hours ago, the Sunset Junction Street Fair was fighting for its life. Today, that fight appears to be over. Having been initially denied a permit over $141,000 in as-of-yet unpaid fees for this year's festival, the event's promoters were given a day to come up with the outstanding amount. While today they were able to produce bank confirmation of an emergency $100,000 loan from promotions giant Live Nation, but that wasn't enough for the Board of Public Works, who unanimously struck down their desperate pleas for a further extension on the permit fee. If this ruling stands, and it probably will, there will be no Sunset Junction this year.
The Sunset Junction people had until just before noon today to produce a check for the full $141k, which was supposed to cover the costs of security and city resources for the festival. While LAT reports they were able to secure most of that money, it appears the Council was still sore over some $260,000 in outstanding fees from last year's event, despite that detail ostensibly not being a factor in the initial decision to deny this year's permit. As quoted in the Times, a spokesperson for Councilman Eric Garcetti (who represents Silverlake) had this to say:
“The fact that they came up with a large sum -- not the full amount, but a large sum nonetheless -- in just 36 hours, shreds their credibility even more. They should have spent the last 12 months coming up with the full amount.”
Yeah, it doesn't look like anyone was trying to cut these guys a break. This is devastating news for the promoters, who reportedly broke down in tears begging City officials to cut them a break, and terrible as well for the tens of thousands that had planned to see an eclectic group of bands this weekend including Bobby Womack, KD Lang, Dum Dum Girls, and Hanson. It is particularly bad news for Hanson, who will likely have to move back in with their parents. It may turn out to be bad news for the city as well, as lawyers for the Sunset Junction Neighborhood Alliance strongly insinuated during the proceedings that without the revenue from this year's festival, the Alliance might not ever be able to make good on their debts. As of right now, the website for the fair has either crashed or been taken down.
I guess you suddenly have some free time this weekend. Go see Planet of the Apes or something. For more details on yesterday's initial denial and the showdown with the City Council, check out yesterday's update.