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The Sunset Music Festival Is Starting This Week But It Is Struggling with Money

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A few years ago, the Sunset Junction Fair, an event I was attending every year in August, had to close down and filed for bankruptcy. Since, a few festivals were born from its ashes, and we now have the Jubilee in June, the brand new Off Sunset in July and Echo Park Raising in August, but another festival has existed a little bit longer: The Sunset Music Festival, now in its sixth year and organized to revive the famous Sunset Strip where lots of legendary clubs (The Viper room, The Roxy, Whiskey A Go Go,…) are still standing.

And now, the LA Weekly is reporting that the festival may have some problems too. According to the newspaper, the festival has been struggling to draw a large public, ticket sales have dropped last year, and they haven’t sold out yet this year (although the organizers are saying they are expecting to). Last year, expenses were about $100,000, which was more than revenues, and organizers are blaming the hot weather. ‘It was 90-plus degrees, so a lot of people made the last-minute decision that it was too hot’ declared Nic Adler, the owner of the Roxy and a co-producer of the festival, to the LA Weekly. But isn’t it the case of all festivals during the summer? Coachella is damn hot, the FYF fest was very hot too. In any case, they will not be able to use this excuse this year, as we currently have an unseasonal cool weather!

The festival is starting this weekend and has asked for West Hollywood to pay $100,000 on the top of the $95,000 that the city has already donate! West Hollywood is a rich city but, should festivals be asking money to survive even if they are not always created to make money? It doesn’t look good even though city and festival representatives insist this is an important event.

We can just wonder what makes a festival successful, giant Coachella always sells out in the matter of an hour, the FYF fest is doing very well too, but other festivals struggle for some reasons… This year Joan Jett is the special honoree of the Sunset Music Festival, and the line up includes Linkin Park, Wale, Awolnation, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. In any case, Adler is committed to make it work: ‘For good or bad, we are trying to get that person who loves music. The festival has every genre of music’… ‘There is no feeling like walking the Sunset Strip with no cars on it. Anywhere in the world where they are able to shut a street down and you can sit on the curb with a drink in your hand — that’s an amazing feeling.’

Sure, but they need to convince more people! Although I don’t plan to attend the festival this year, I would hate to see another one vanish!

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