Rain Shutters L.A. Bash

A massive “rain or shine” Los Angeles New Year’s Eve bash featuring Black Eyed Peas, Death Cab For Cutie, and The Crystal Method got canceled, even though there wasn’t rain. As many as 15,000 would-be revelers were left in the lurch.

Giant Village 2006 organizer Dave Dean said he scrapped the event at about 4 p.m. December 31st after city fire officials expressed concerns that a drenching storm might create a public safety problem.

As it turned out, the rain stopped falling several hours before the event’s scheduled 8 p.m. start. Disappointed people wandered the streets not knowing where to ring in the New Year.

“We made what we still believe was the right decision based (on) the determination from the Los Angeles Fire Department that the extreme weather conditions caused a serious concern for public safety,” Dean said in a statement to ticket holders.

He added that L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told the Los Angeles Times that “fire officials made a determination” the public’s safety was at risk if the event took place. Organizers were further convinced of cancellation after hearing that a stage collapsed at Paramount Studios during setup for an outdoor event earlier that day, with the Los Angeles Fire Department subsequently yanking its permit.

The LAFD, responding to a slew of angry phone calls from disappointed party-goers, issued a reminder that the decision to cancel the event was made by the organizers and not by fire officials. A spokeswoman for the organizers agreed that they were ultimately responsible for pulling the plug.

One fan, who traveled from San Diego to see the concert, reportedly said, “It’s 15,000 people trying to figure out what to do next.” Another concert-goer claimed that his $150 VIP ticket said “rain or shine.”

“It’s not going to shine at night, so the only option is for it to rain and it’s not raining,” he said.

The concert was to include 15 performers playing on five stages spread along six blocks. The event’s Web site promoted the concert as the “world’s largest [over] 21 New Year’s Eve celebration.”

Many fans paid for their tickets in advance, but the majority were planning on buying ducats at the event, Dean reportedly said. Tickets sold for more than $85.

Ticket-holders will be eligible for a refund of the face value of the ducat of for a “make up package consisting of multiple events of greater value,” according to Dean.

Meanwhile, the organizer said the incident was a disastrous financial loss.

“We did not have ‘Event Cancellation Insurance’ to cover our losses,” he said. “We make money by producing shows, not canceling shows.”