Heads Up: LouFest Is Cancelled

September 5, 2018



ST. LOUIS (KMOX) -- Forest Park will be unexpectedly quiet this weekend.

An overnight announcement from organizer Listen Live Entertainment confirmed the worst -- that this year's LouFest is cancelled. The music festival was set for September 8th and 9th.

They cite financial issues and also dread about the weekend's weather forecast of torrential downpours.

The line-up was to include Modest Mouse, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, Kacey Musgraves, T-Pain and several dozen more artists and groups. A comedy stage was also planned, as well as food and craft beer offerings.

News reports last week indicated multiple vendors providng services like stage lighting and sound had pulled out. Late Friday, LouFest tweeted "We are 100% good to go."

This year's fan frustrations began with the line-up being announced later than it traditionally has been and the actual day schedules not being released until a week before the two-day festival.

Refunds are available through the ticket vendor, Front Gate Tickets, even though Listen Live says it doesn't have the funds at the moment.

Refunds are available through the ticket vendor, Front Gate Tickets, even though Listen Live says it doesn't have the funds at the moment.

Here is the entire statement:

Dear St. Louis,

We are sad to announce that LouFest 2018 has been cancelled. We know this is a great disappointment to many and that there has been wide speculation around our event. We want to share what’s been going on directly with you.

First, and as is usually the case when things like this happen, LouFest had several financial hurdles. The loss of two of the event's top sponsors, scheduling and contract issues with major artists, and existing debt from previous events have all put immense pressure on the balance sheet.

Overcoming those setbacks while trying to grow the Fest has been a challenge, one that LouFest was on target to meet until a bit of unfortunately timed media coverage caused many of our vendors and artists to demand up-front payment just days before gates were set to open. LouFest simply couldn’t make that happen.

Second, the fickle St. Louis weather has made us extremely nervous. 2018 pre-sale ticket volume has been fantastic but the festival does rely on walkups to be financially successful. We know first-hand that a rain-soaked weekend like our event experienced in 2016 would both kill that traffic and do physical harm to Forest Park. We feel it would be irresponsible to continue to invest in an event that might not be able to realize its exceptional potential.

Although we don’t currently have the funds to issue refunds, the exceptional festival ticketing company we selected, Front Gate Tickets, owned by Live Nation and Ticketmaster, will be stepping up to refund all fans in full while we work to repay our debts.

We want to recognize the sponsors, vendors, partners, and fantastic team members who have been working around the clock in support of LouFest 2018. Producing this event has been a labor of love for our family and the staff – we see it as our gift to our music-loving city.

It has been thrilling to bring so much joy to fans, recognition to St. Louis, a spotlight to its artists, and an estimated $8 million in revenue to the region each year. For that, we will always be proud.

Mike Van Hee – Managing Partner Listen Live Entertainment