Desert Fest Goes Cold

It’s all over but the shouting for a festival in Desert Hot Springsm Calif., now that associates have pulled out because of inactivity by the producer.

Promoter Tony Clarke was provided $250,000 to put on the twice-delayed World & Wellness Festival. There were a few problems, notably that despite Clarke telling the city he has put on concerts by Nirvana and Michael Jackson, Palm Springs’ Desert Sun found that his “office” in Marina Del Rey was actually a P.O. Box at a UPS store. Clarke, who was rebuked by the city council for lack of “substantive” updates, would not talk to the paper on the record.

Meanwhile, some were getting nervous because the city’s contract with Clarke said that the terms “do not guarantee that the festival will occur.” The event was slated for Oct. 9-10, 2010, and Clarke announced yoga experts and Ziggy Marley as participants. It was postponed to March or May.

Now it’s been reported by the Sun that associate producers Baruch/Gayton Entertainment Group dropped out of the project in early January, claiming they were not paid by Clarke.

“There have been financial problems with Tony,” Wayne Baruch told the Sun. “He owes us money. He owes others money, who we have brought into the project.”

The city council has met in closed session at least three times to consider taking legal action against Clarke, the paper said. The contract expires in June.