ST. LOUIS (AP) — Plans for a giant Memorial Day country music festival in downtown St. Louis are on hold, and a top aide to the mayor says a similar rock festival over Labor Day weekend is uncertain.
In April, aldermen voted to allow both festivals on the Gateway Mall for the next 10 years. The decision was criticized by some local musicians and promoters — the annual Taste of St. Louis festival moved to Chesterfield once the new agreement was reached.
“I just thought the thing was fraught with provisions that were clearly loaded toward the other side of the deal,” said Alderman Tom Villa.
City officials have confirmed that Summer Rocks, billed as an annual country music concert series similar to Lollapalooza in Chicago, is off for this Memorial Day weekend. A rock-related event for Labor Day weekend is still possible, but uncertain.
Villa was one of four aldermen who voted against the deal to potentially bring the concert series to St. Louis.
Maggie Crane, a spokesman for St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said the city is not losing money with concert’s cancelation.
“This was a high reward, low risk for the city and for taxpayers. We’re not losing out by not having the event because it was never a guarantee to begin with. We want them here, we hope it’s successful,” Crane said.
Crane said ICM, the company putting on the concert, needed the deal to prove to financiers and banks that it has locations and dates locked down.
“We hope that will be able to get their financing and talent lined up as early as September,” Crane said.
St. Louis will paid a cancelation fee. The city can also get out of the deal in ICM fails to live up to its promises to consistently bring music festivals to downtown St. Louis.