NYE Fans Threaten Suit

The last-minute cancellation of Los Angeles’ “rain or shine” Giant Village 2006 New Year’s Eve bash has angered some ticket-holders to the point of lawsuit threats.

As many as 15,000 would-be revelers from across the U.S. and abroad were left in the lurch.

Some artists have apparently not been paid. Meanwhile, there are angry ticket-holders talking about a class-action lawsuit against the organizer, whose home address and phone number were posted on the Web by disgruntled fans, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Giant Village organizer Dave Dean said he scrapped the event about four hours before its scheduled start December 31st after city and fire officials expressed concerns that a drenching storm might create public safety problems.

Giant Village was to be a gallant affair. Fifteen performers – including Black Eyed Peas, The Flaming Lips, Death Cab For Cutie, and The Crystal Method – were to play 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.” A U.K. journalist planned to propose to his girlfriend onstage during the Lips’ set after appearing in a squirrel costume, the Times said.

In Dean’s defense, California was in the midst of disastrous rainfalls, even if the storms never hit his event. Yet, some tickets-holders reportedly said the cancellation had less to do with city officials’ safety concerns than with poor advance sales. A spokeswoman for the event told Pollstar that charge was false, and declined to comment further.

Instead, the spokeswoman pointed to a statement from Dean that read: “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.

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

A posting on the event’s Web site said that customers who purchased a ticket would be eligible for a makeup package or a full refund for the face value of the ticket.

Meanwhile, some ticket-holders have taken steps to participate in a class-action lawsuit against Giant Los Angeles Inc., Giant Village’s organizers, the Times reported.

“Refund or not, my New Year’s was shot,” fan Dana Hayes told the paper. “It’s not about the money. It’s about the point. The ticket said, ‘rain or shine.'”

Hayes said she planned to set up a Web site for others interested in participating in the lawsuit.