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LouFest Promoter Drops Its Suit Against Festival Vendor

LouFest fans didn't get the chance to convene for the 2018 event, when it was cancelled days before it was set to begin. [5/23/19]
File photo | Eli Chen | St. Louis Public Radio
LouFest fans didn't get the chance to convene for the 2018 event, when it was canceled days before it was set to begin.

Listen Live Entertainment, the producer of the LouFest music festival, has withdrawn a lawsuit charging that vendor Logic Systems, Inc. deliberately sabotaged the 2018 event.

Listen Live canceled the August festival only days before it was set to begin, after major technical vendors — including sound-and-light specialist Logic Systems — pulled out, citing missing or chronically late payments.

The concert promoter had alleged that Logic Systems’ president, Chip Self, exaggerated the festival’s financial troubles in comments to the media, including St. Louis Public Radio, to sabotage the event and launch his own competing festival. Self denies the accusations.

Listen Live filed the suit in February, three months after Logic Systems filed its own suit against Listen Live for breach of contract, seeking $70,000 in what it said were unpaid fees. A trial date for that case is set for Oct. 21.

Listen Live Entertainment had sought more than $100,000 in damages, plus unspecified punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and court costs. The concert promoter withdrew its lawsuit on Wednesday.

Self said Listen Live’s decision to withdraw the lawsuit came as a surprise, and that its principal partner, Mike Van Hee, was scheduled to give a deposition this week. Neither Van Hee nor attorney Ryan Mahoney could be reached for comment Thursday.

“Defending against a case like this, even when it’s fictitious, is very stressful and expensive. So it’s a relief that it’s over,” Self said.

Self said the now-withdrawn suit cost his company hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost contracts due to local clients who were scared off by the bad publicity. “It was pretty clear that they stopped doing business with us specifically because of this… All over a lie,” Self said of the suit.

Mahoney said in February that the lawsuit against Logic Systems represented “just one step toward remedying the cancellation of last year’s festival and working to rebuild it for years to come.”

It remains unclear when, or if, Listen Live intends to produce another LouFest.

Jeremy can be found on Twitter @jeremydgoodwin.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org

Jeremy is the arts & culture reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.