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LouFest founder, STLPR editor recap 2018 festival’s demise and some great stuff to do in lieu of it

Brian Cohen (at left), the founder of LouFest, and St. Louis Public Radio’s Holly Edgell discussed the cancelation of this weekend’s festival.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Like so many St. Louisans this week, LouFest founder Brian Cohen was surprised and saddened to learn that the major St. Louis music festival set for this weekend had been canceled.

“It’s a sad day for sure, for a lot of people,” he told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh. “I didn’t necessarily see it going down this way – it certainly was a shock to me, and we’ll just have to see if we can find some answers as to why it all happened this way.”

Cohen, who in 2016 sold his stake in the company that organizes the festival, didn’t speculate about possible financial mismanagement or poor decisions that may have led to this year’s issues. But he acknowledged that the music industry is a difficult one where it’s easy to run into trouble.

“The finances are very difficult, the revenue is very difficult to secure, and [issues can crop up] if you’re playing fast and loose with it, if you’re not laser-focused on how to minimize risk, if you’re not taking your responsibility seriously to the public,” he said. “Because to embark on an event like this, you are assuming significant responsibility for not messing it up … it affects so many different people.”

In conversation with Marsh, Cohen touched on many pieces of the LouFest “puzzle” and the processes involved in putting on such a large-scale event.

Also joining the talk show to discuss some of the many efforts and events taking place in lieu of LouFest this weekend was St. Louis Public Radio editor Holly Edgell.

Her report on “11 things to do this weekend now that LouFest has been canceled” was part of the newsroom’s broad coverage of the developing story over the past week.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Alex HeuerEvie Hemphill and Caitlin Lally give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

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Evie is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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