Dysfunction Junction

(image from Downtown Lobby)

Sunset Junction Street Fair officially got the kabosh put on them this morning when their appeal to obtain the permit was denied. The two day event which was going to take place this weekend is officially cancelled.

After a meeting earlier this week confirmed that the three decade running community event did not have the city’s permission due to an outstanding $400,000 bill to the city, festival organizers were told an immediate payment of $142,000 might save the event. Despite allegedly raising $152,000, the cash was not in hand as of this morning (according to festival organizers – they’d “hoped” to have it tomorrow) and the demonstrations of anti-Junction sentiment, mostly from letters from community members, indicated the community festival had lost some of its local supporters.

Those that opposed the festival were aptly prepared to argue why the Junction should be cancelled and the festival’s organizers and supporters simply did not have enough ammunition for a counter attack. With a huge debt, a nearly non-existent clean up attempt last year, and Hanson and Butthole Surfers as headliners – I’m not that surprised that the Silverlake Counsel told the fest to take a hike.

While the absence of Junction is certainly a disappointment – the city shouldn’t be stuck with the festival organizers’ bills. The same festival organizer who had already advanced a bunch of talent for the event didn’t even pony up to pay the city and that is just insulting. If I was sitting on that council – it would be hard for me to respect the position of the festival organizer who essentially didn’t pay for the mess they created (and charged people to create).

And now there is a whole new mess – a cancelled event. Not only does that bring up a handful of potentially breached contracts and creditors. But with many artists not booking local gigs to respect the festival’s radius clause – there is suddenly an explosion of quality acts looking for places to play not just this weekend, but all through out September. Keep your eyes peeled for wild impromptu indie BBQs this weekend as well as updates to local venues calendars in September.

The fate and future of Sunset Junction is not fully told yet as Live Nation was one of the main parties to step up to make the event actually occur this year. A rumored $100,000 donation from the event beast put Junction in a position to pay down some of their debt – but it was unfortunately too little too late. The city might change their tune to the festival in the future with a backer like Live Nation though – who could clearly support clean up efforts. Whether or not Live Nation can resurrect the event – stay tuned to other local blogs and tweeters, eastside streetpoles and lightposts and random bands facebook accounts to find out about all the renegade Junction shows that are sure to occur.

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