So remember that whole Punk Rock Picnic Music Festival thing that a lot of people paid money for but never happened? Finally, after three months of ticket holders and vendors waiting for refunds from the cancelled fest, someone has finally launched a lawsuit in small claims court against the show's promoter in an effort to recoup losses. The whole debacle–including an explanation of how the identity of Smith's festival was stolen from the original Punk Rock Picnic–is the subject of this week's cover story, on newsstands tomorrow.
Recently, Gregg White, owner of L.A.-based mom-and-pop punk label Vacant Lot Entertainment served Picnic promoter Steve Smith with a lawsuit filed in Laguna Hills Justice Center for failing to pay back his vendor investment of almost $1,000 paid last October.
The festival, originally scheduled for April 13 and 14 at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, first advertised headliners Danzig and GWAR late last year. Then, both headliners mysteriously dropped off the bill, replaced by D.R.I. and Anti-Nowhere League. The bill also featured dozens of local bands who sold tickets to their fans. Tickets on the site ranged from $35 for a one day pass to $150 for a two-day all access VIP pass.
When fans, bands and vendors first heard about the cancellation in March via the event's Facebook page, Smith left a statement promising to refund money to ticket holders if he could not find an alternate location. Soon after, he'd also informed us via Facebook that refunds for ticket sales and vendor fees would begin to be processed on April 15. White paid for a booth at the festival and says that process servers tried to locate Smith for several weeks before successfully serving him. Even though the financial loss wasn't devastating, White says it's the principle of being stolen from that inspired the lawsuit.
“Payment of course is an entirely separate issue, who knows if we'll ever get that money back from Steve,” White says. “But if we can help ourselves and the ticket holders we've been in touch with, then we've done our part. The money isn't the issue, it's the principle of being ripped off and not rolling over and taking it.” The hearing is scheduled for Monday, June 17 at 1:30 p.m. at the Laguna Hills Harbor Justice Center.