St. Louis City Committee Talks of New Major Downtown Music Festival

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EVA RENALDI/FLICKR
  • Eva Renaldi/Flickr

A company with ties to a heavyweight concert promoter wants rights to host a music festival for two decades in Gateway Mall, beginning in 2015.

Board Bill 328, introduced Friday in the city's Convention and Tourism committee by Ald. Phyllis Young, would see the city of St. Louis enter into an agreement with Summer Rocks LLC to produce music festivals on Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.

The 63-page proposal would allow organizers to use a portion of the park between 17th Street and Tucker Boulevard for the festival that would include one main stage and two side stages. It would also see the intersections of Market and Tucker shut down for the duration of the festival.

Summer Rocks would pay the city $400,000 each year, adjusted for inflation, for use of city services, according to the proposal.

Summer Rocks LLC has ties to Los Angeles-based International Creative Management, a powerhouse talent and promotional agency that represents some of the biggest performers, musicians and comedians in the U.S.

The proposal is also tied to St. Louis developer Stephen Stogel, president of DFC Group, Inc., who is listed as the only local contact in the 64-page agreement. Stogel once headed up Civic Progress' St. Louis Technical Assistance Corporation, which had a large hand in the redevelopment of the Gateway Mall and the ArtLofts.

ConcertMap.jpg.JPG

This is the area that the proposed festival would encompass.

Bill co-sponsor Ald. Marlene Davis learned about the proposal Wednesday. She said the festival would mirror other large-scale festivals in cities like Atlanta and Austin, Texas.

"I think it's an absolute positive," Davis said.

Continue to page two for more on the proposed new festival.

Part of the proposal reads that the city will not allow permits for other competing festivals and outdoor music events during the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.

The news comes as another music festival announced that it would make its move to the suburbs.

STL Bluesweek announced that its annual Memorial Day weekend festival would take up refuge at the Chesterfield Amphitheater.

See also: Bluesweek Moves to Chesterfield Due to Financial Woes

Davis said that she and other committee members wanted to clarify that the city wouldn't permit competing music festivals of similar size and scope. Davis said she wants to stress that events like the St. Nicholas Greek Festival and St. Louis PrideFest would still be allowed to continue. Attempts to reach organizers of LouFest Saturday for comment were unsuccessful.

"There's no way that any of us would not allow those things that have been going on forever to continue," Davis said. "That's a cultural part of our city and we don't want people to think that those things aren't going to happen."

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