Arts & Entertainment

Sunset Junction Festival permit denied for final time

Sunset Junction sign in Silver Lake
Sunset Junction sign in Silver Lake
Victoria Bernal/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

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The Los Angeles Board of Public Works again rejected a special event permit today for this weekend's planned Sunset Junction street festival, likely meaning the end of the Silver Lake festival's 30-year run.

Live Nation stepped in to pay off the festival's debt, according to L.A. Weekly, but festival organizers told the board Wednesday morning that they didn't have a check for the $141,000 for this year's fees in hand, which led the board to deny their permit. The city says that the organization actually owes around $400,000 for both this year and last year's festivals, but that they would have accepted the smaller amount for now.

"This is a remarkable disappointment," Board member Andrea Alarcon said. "We asked you to come prepared with something substantive. And all you came with was hope."

L.A. Weekly also reports that artists scheduled for Sunset Junction have been trying to schedule alternate venues, so there still may be the chance to see at least some of these acts this weekend.

Members of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council told the board the event had changed for the worse in recent years. They complained that fences used to contain the crowds blocked neighborhood residents and families, and prevented them from shopping at local businesses.

The board originally rejected the permit on Monday, noting that organizers still owe $260,000 to the city for police, fire, transportation and other services from the event in 2010, according to the Los Angeles Times.

A festival organizer warned that a cancellation might prompt lawsuits by bands and sponsors who’d been booked for the event, and that the organization would probably go bankrupt.

The city requires special events promoters to pay estimated city fees in full before issuing permits, but the board made an exception for Sunset Junction last year.

KPCC's Frank Stoltze contributed to this report.

Audio: Frank Stoltze reports on Sunset Junction.