BELLEVILLE — LouFest organizers announced early Wednesday morning that the St. Louis music festival was canceled just four days before the event was set to begin.
In a letter on Twitter, Listen Live Entertainment announced at about 2 a.m. the event, which was supposed to occur on Saturday and Sunday, would be canceled. The letter ultimately blamed media coverage for the cancellation.
The organizers said they've had "financial hurdles," including the loss of top sponsors and scheduling and contact issues with major artists. However, the letter stated they were "on target" to overcome those challenges until "a bit of unfortunately timed media coverage" caused vendors and artists to demand up-front payment.
"LouFest simply couldn't make that happen," the letter stated.
While the letter did not specifically identify the media story, St. Louis Public Radio aired a story Aug. 31 saying key contractors had informed Listen Live Entertainment they would not participate in the festival. Some cited persistently delayed payments from the event.
Local firms scheduled to handle stage lighting, sound and additional musical instruments were among those who said they would not participate
The owner of Logic Systems, which was hired to produce sound and lighting for four festival stages, told St. Louis Public Radio they had "stepped back from the project."
The letter said while the organizers do not have the funds to issue refunds, the festival's ticketing company, Front Gate Tickets, will be paying back ticket buyers.
"Although we don't currently have the funds to issue refunds... Front Gate Tickets, owned by Live Nation and Ticketmaster, will be stepping up to refund all fans in full while we work to repay our debts," the letter stated.
As of Wednesday morning, the LouFest website still listed the festival's line up and did not mention the cancellation on the main page.
"It has been thrilling to bring so much joy to fans, recognition to St. Louis, a spotlight to its artists, and an estimated $8 million in revenue to the region each year. For that, we will always be proud," the letter said.