Sunset Junction Canceled

The Los Angeles Board of Public Works once again denied an event permit Aug. 24 for the long running Sunset Junction Street Fair over organizers’ failure to pony up thousands of dollars in fees to cover city services for the event.

The board voted unanimously during a meeting to deny the permit, just days after telling organizers they’d reconsider the permit issue if the festival could come up with $141,000 in fees.

In a last-ditch effort, organizers had Chase Bank send a fax to the board showing the fest had received a $100,000 deposit in its account, according to the Los Angeles Times, and Phil Tate, an attorney for Sunset Junction, said the loan had come from Live Nation.

But for board commissioner Andrea Alarcon, it was simply too little, too late.

“This is not an indication to me … that any funds will be available for issuance of a check to support the special events permit,” she said during the meeting. “I do see a deposit of $100,000, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot.

“Fail me once, shame on you. Fail me twice, shame on me,” she added. “This organization has failed the city time and time again.”

Although Sunset Junction’s website was down at press time, a message on the festival’s Twitter page following the meeting read:

“Seriously, we tried our best on raising the huge amount of money – thanks for all the support. Unfortunately we didn’t meet the expectations.”

Another tweet added that ticket money would be refunded to all of the fans who supported the festival.

The event was to feature artists including Butthole Surfers, Bobby Womack, Hanson, Melvins and Lil Jon.

Even if organizers had been able to procure the funds save this year’s Sunset Junction, the board would still have had some beef with the festival.

During better economic times, the city apparently absorbed fees for many services associated with the festival, which has been held in the Silver Lake neighborhood for more than 30 years.

Two years ago, officials approved a plan to require events like Sunset Junction to share in the city’s costs and the festival was sent a $256,000 bill for services related to the 2010 edition.

The bill has gone unpaid in the time since. Tate warned board members during the meeting that killing the festival could mean the fees will never be recovered, the Times reported.

“You’ll be one of the many creditors standing in line waiting to get paid,” Tate said. “Because if this fails, the vendors, the bands, they’re not just going to quietly slink off into the night and this organization is probably going away.”

Alarcon previously told the Times she expects last year’s Sunset Junction fees will be the subject of litigation.