ST. LOUIS (CelebrityAccess) — The organizers of LouFest have filed a lawsuit against a local production company, alleging they made false statements about the financial health of the festival, ultimately forcing its cancelation.
LouFest, which was planned to take place in St. Louis last August, was canceled at the last minute after media reports began to circulate that indicated the festival was having trouble paying vendors.
At the time, LouFest organizers stated “We are 100% good to go – load in has already kicked off” but several media outlets, including National Public Radio, reported that several vendors had pulled off of the festival site.
Chip Self of Logic Systems, which was to provide sound and lights for the festival, appeared to confirm the reports of financial woes.
“Nobody is happy about this, and nobody wants attention over this,” Self told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch at the time. “But nobody wants to be stuck holding the bill. And I don’t want to see anybody else get screwed.”
Festival producer Listen to Live Entertainment managing partner Mike Van Hee attempted to refute the claims, and told the Post-Dispatch, “It’s not true. Everything is good. We’re on track and on schedule to have another great LouFest.”
However, despite Van Hee’s assurances, six days later organizers announced that the festival had been canceled, citing”several financial hurdles” as well as “the loss of two of the event’s top sponsors, scheduling and contract issues with major artists, and existing debt from previous events have all put immense pressure on the balance sheet” as driving factors in the decision to pull the plug.
Now a lawsuit filed by LouFest organizes allege that Chip Self and Logic Systems Sound made false statements to the press and talent agencies such as Paradigm in order to sabotage the reputation of the festival. Loufest organizers allege the sabotage was an attempt to “usurp the business opportunity to provide a music festival in Forest Park for the City of St. Louis.”
As a result of the alleged sabotage, Loufest organizers report suffering “severe financial damages in excess of $4,000,000 and irreparable harm to reputation.”
The suit also alleges that Logic Systems Sound & Lighting engaged in tortious interference with both business expectance and contracts.
The plaintiffs are seeking as much as $100,000 in compensatory damages and unspecified punitive damages through the suit.
A representative for Logic Systems did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication. However, he provided a statement to local CBS affiliate KMOV, stating: “We are aware of a frivolous legal maneuver, although we have not seen the suit yet. We expected this and are prepared to vigorously defend it.”