Texas music festival Starfest loses venue, won’t announce 60-band lineup
UPDATE: Starfest has found a new venue: Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie. They've also cut ticket costs by 50%. According to their latest update:
We have been able to cut the costs on everything we were going to spend on the original location from restrooms, police officers, parking control, barricades, food, staffing, sound equipment, stages, and dozens of other areas. This all goes to the customer now while adding many features that will give you the additional bands, more creature comforts and more seating selections for your budget. Book your tickets now because we are now open for business! See you in September.
The story of Texas' blandly-named Starfest Music Festival could shape up (fall apart?) to be the next chapter in the ongoing trend of 2017 festival disasters. The fest was set to take place on September 8-9 in Plano, Texas, and it's been hindered by several roadblocks since its inception. Initially described as a "pop-up concert," Starfest's founders are not planning to reveal the full lineup until the day of the event.
When the festival was first announced, Drake was tapped as the event's headliner, before he was replaced by Lil Wayne and Flo Rida earlier this month. Several other artists, like country artist Hunter Hayes, were also added to the fest's website, before being mysteriously deleted. Even more confusing is the festival's plan to host 60 bands across two stages over the course of two days, which seems like a difficult task. Festival co-founder David Taylor insisted the hectic and sudden news surrounding the event was part of the plan:
[The timing was] extremely intentional. We didn't want this to be your typical concert. We want you to go, 'Holy moly, this is crazy!'
Things snowballed from there. The festival's founders put out a Craigslist ad calling for volunteers, which claimed the event would attract nearly 20,000 people per day, and include headliners such as "Imagine Dragons, 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, Steve Aoki, Sam Hunt, Thomas Rhett and many more." 2 Chainz, at least, is booked elsewhere, with scheduled shows in Ohio and Maryland on the dates of the festival.
One man has even taken legal action against Starfest's organizers. According to TMZ, Simon Perez claims he was hired by the event's founders to book acts, such as Deadmau5 (who he allegedly was able to book for $500k). However, Perez claimed that Starfest's organizers went behind his back to sign other artists without his knowledge, and haven't issued him any money for his work. He's suing for damages and legal fees.
The latest blow to Starfest happened on Thursday (8/17), when the city of Plano, TX pulled out of their agreement to host the festival. According to GuideLive:
"The city of Plano has decided to terminate our contract with the promoters of the Starfest Music Festival," reads a statement. "We believe the cancellation of this contract is in the best interest of the city and our community."
David Taylor, one of Starfest's co-founders, said there is a clause in the contract that states the festival must give Plano 48 hours advance notice on the artists being booked "to let them see if it's something acceptable to their terms" or the city has a right to terminate the agreement.
A copy of the termination letter sent to Starfest Wednesday and obtained by GuideLive states the festival failed to comply with portions of the agreement that say the city and the event promoters would mutually agree on headliners, and that Starfest would provide Plano with executed artist contracts 48 hours before making public announcements.
In addition, supposed headliner Flo Rida has not been confirmed to perform, according to information obtained by Billboard. The festival also seems to have lost a potential sponsor in Cadillac, whose name has been removed Starfest's site after previously being listed.
As of now, it's still unclear which artists will be performing, (although Machine Gun Kelly was recently announced) let alone where. However, Starfest's organizers issued a statement on Facebook, still optimistic that the event will take place:
Our goal has always been to bring an unforgettable experience to the people of North Texas. We stand behind the Starfest Music Festival and will continue moving forward as planned and with a great lineup....just at a new home.
According to EDMIdentity, current Starfest ticketholders have until August 21 to request a refund, by emailing email@example.com or vising the event's website (which contains a picture from Celebrate Brooklyn!, for some reason).