Starfest Music Festival’s Saga Continues
Starfest Music Festival organizers say they haven’t given up. After losing their contract with Plano, Texas, announcing a new venue and then quickly retracting that news, Starfest now says it is pushing back the two-day event to November and it will take place at yet another venue.
A recent update on StarfestMusicFestival.com doesn’t have a venue, specific dates or a lineup. The festival, that was initially scheduled Sept. 8-9 at Plano’s Oak Point Park, will now take place “in the heart of the Dallas / Ft. Worth Metroplex, only 20 miles away from the postponed Plano event,” according to a statement. The new venue is said to have “more seating choices, closer general admission [and] luxury skyboxes.”
The statement claims that organizers were able to keep almost 90 percent of the original lineup for the rescheduled event. Previously announced artists included Lil Wayne, Carnage, Flo Rida, and Machine Gun Kelly.
Pollstar called the agencies representing the artists and hasn’t receive any specific answers as to whether they were still on the bill, with the exception of one act. A representative at ICM Partners told Pollstar that Machine Gun Kelly “was never confirmed.”
As previously reported, Plano City Manager Bruce Glasscock notified Starfest via email Aug. 16 that the festival’s license agreement with Plano was terminated immediately “because Starfest is in material breach of the license agreement, and that breach is incurable,” according to correspondence obtained by the Dallas Observer.
A few days later, Starfest claimed it had relocated the event to Lone Star Park At Grand Prairie in Grand Prairie, Texas. The festival began selling tickets at a reduced rate, but then halted sales and replaced the home page of the website with a statement explaining that management at Lone Star Park had informed Starfest “that the facility was previously booked for an outside event on their parking lots that would take up 80 percent of usable parking for our guests.”
The statement added that the team at Lone Star Park “has been diligently working with us directly to help facilitate us with other dates in one capacity or another. This unfortunately may cause us to push back our event or move locations.”
Neither Starfest nor Lone Star Park responded to Pollstar’s request for comment.
Starfest released a statement Aug. 28 via its PR representative, Executive 1 Media Group, in regards to a lawsuit reportedly filed by a talent buyer named Simon Perez for damages and legal fees.
Perez is accusing Starfest of refusing to deliver on his 15 percent commission after he snagged offers for Deadmau5 and Flo Rida, according to TMZ. The gossip site reported that Perez claims the festival “went behind his back to sign musicians on its own to avoid triggering his commission.”
Starfest said in response: “We were in disbelief to find out, at the last-minute, the booking agent (sic) had not secured the performers properly. This is not how we conduct business. Perez tried to take advantage of Starfest and its organizers wanting funding for performers he had no contract with, leading to his immediate dismissal. The actions and false allegations by Mr. Perez, to the media, caused irreparable harm to the company and concert-goers alike.”
Executive 1 Media Group’s Derrick Dzurko told Pollstar the company was hired by Starfest nearly two weeks ago. As to whether Starfest plans to respond to Perez’s lawsuit with its own legal action, Dzurko said that hasn’t been discussed with him yet. For now, Starfest’s focus is on securing the new location in Dallas.
Starfest was reportedly co-founded by David Taylor, Shamar Willis, Michael Warden and Bill Pletch “as a pop-up festival in which half of the lineup is a secret until you walk through the gates,” according to the Dallas Observer.
Taylor told the paper that his background is in the hospitality industry and that he’s owned seven restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He said that he’s put on small concerts as the co-founder of Crudefunders, which crowdfunds oil and gas investments, and that his partners have experience with large events.
Willis is the founder and CEO of LegnA Entertainment, which has put on events at Dallas’ 4,300-capacity Bomb Factory and the 2,500-capacity Gas Monkey Live! with the likes of Boosie Badazz, T.I and 2 Chainz, according to the company’s website.
Taylor told the Observer that Pletch “has worked on the production and logistics side of concerts ever since the ‘80s.”
Starfest is described as “an unforgettable weekend experience that pairs music, with efforts to help local charities in need, through donations from our sponsors and a portion of ticket sales.” The festival’s latest update on its website notes it has added the Red Cross to its “list of local charities in light of Hurricane Harvey.”