Mike Van Hee | St. Louis Public Radio

Mike Van Hee

A flotilla of brightly colored umbrellas hang suspended outside of the LouFest Store were used as a common meeting place throughout the weekend.
File Photo | Eli Chen | St. Louis Public Radio

Organizers of the LouFest music festival have filed suit against one of its contractors, alleging that the owner of sound-and-lighting vendor Logic Systems sabotaged the 2018 festival and planned to take the event over from its management.

Listen Live Entertainment filed suit on Friday in the St. Louis Circuit Court against Logic Systems and its president Chip Self. The suit alleges that Self made “negative, misleading comments,” exaggerated statements regarding funding issues and suggested LouFest would be cancelled.

Fans at LouFest 2017 basked in tunes and perfect weather. Sept. 2017
Eli Chen | St. Louis Public Radio

Logic Systems Sound and Lighting, the Valley Park-based company that had been hired to work the 2018 festival, is suing LouFest’s promoter for breach of contract.

In a suit filed last month in St. Louis County Circuit Court, Logic Systems detailed over $70,000 it claims Listen Live Entertainment owes it for work on the canceled festival, plus three other events held earlier in the year.

Logic Systems owner Chip Self said he considered it a “long shot” that the suit will yield a payday. He sued, he said, in part to stand up for other vendors who haven’t been paid for their services.

The Avett Brothers at LouFest 2015
File photo | Jess Luther | St. Louis Public Radio

When the organizers of LouFest canceled the event, the news came as a shock to many, though signs of the festival’s distress had been apparent. The festival’s promoter, Listen Live Entertainment, insisted that everything was fine until the moment it pulled the plug.

The announcement identified several causes including the loss of key sponsors, debt and expected rain. Organizers insisted the festival had been on target “until a bit of unfortunately timed media coverage caused many of our vendors and artists to demand up-front payment.”

In 2015, LouFest brought a record 50,000 people to Forest Park. 2018 will be a different story.
Jess Luther | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Sept. 5 at 5:30 p.m. — Music fans, vendors and service providers startled by the cancellation of this weekend’s LouFest in Forest Park are shifting from disappointment to worry as they try to figure out how to recoup the cost of tickets, fees and other expenses.

Festival organizers early Wednesday called off the ninth annual event, three days before it was set to begin. Last year the two-day festival was at full capacity, drawing 32,000 fans each day.