LouFest Organizers Sue Vendor, Alleging Sabotage Prior To 2018 Cancellation

– Loufest
After LouFest was called off just three days before staging in 2018 because of “several financial hurdles,” organizers are now suing a sound, lighting and staging vendor for allegedly causing a crisis of confidence and effectively causing the festival’s cancellation.
Listen Live, the promoter of St. Louis’ LouFest, filed suit against Logic Systems Sound and Lighting, Inc. and that company’s president, Howard “Chip” Self, in Missouri State Court Feb. 15.
In its complaint, Listen Live alleges that Logic Systems contacted Paradigm Talent Agency several weeks before 2018 edition the festival, which was to take place Sept. 8-9, 2018 and said vendors hadn’t been paid yet. Listen Live further claims that Logic Systems began demanding specific payment terms, including a 50 percent deposit by Aug. 29.  
Listen Live was unable to provide payment by that date, so Logic Systems withdrew from its lighting and staging duties. Listen Live said Logic Systems knew Listen Live was trying to get funds from Kranzberg Arts Foundation prior to the festival and would likely be unable to get the necessary funds by its demanded deadline, and that Logic Systems’ withdrawal from the fest and Self’s subsequent comments to the media began to cause a crisis of confidence in Listen Live’s ability to put on LouFest.
The complaint further outlines a second attempt to get a deposit to Logic Systems after additional funding was agreed to from a commercial lender and others, including Live Nation subsidiary Front Gate Tickets, but that the negative narrative in local media outlets influenced lenders’ decision to withdraw their support for the event.
Listen Live claims Self decided to pull out of LouFest and sabotaged the festival in the local media because he wanted to take over the festival himself, and essentially that his actions were taken in bad faith. 
The suit includes allegations of tortious interference with contract and with business expectancy against Logic Systems and Howard Self, and seeks $100,000 plus additional damages and legal fees. 
Self told St. Louis Public Radio that the suit was “a frivolous, defensive legal strategy that we expected, and we are prepared to defend against it vigorously.”
Ryan Mahoney, attorney for Listen Live, told the radio station the suit was part of the plan to remedy the cancellation of last year’s fest and to rebuild it for future editions. 
LouFest was a St. Louis staple prior to the 2018 cancellation, having staged eight times at the city’s Central Field at Forest Park. The event never reported its data to Pollstar, but local media reported a 2017 attendance of more than 60,000. 
The 2018 incarnation was to feature Robert Plant & The Sensational Space shifters, Modest Mouse, The Head And The Heart, Kacey Musgraves, Gary Clark Jr., Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real, and Tank And The Bangas.