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PRNDI Breaking News: LouFest Canceled

For eight years St. Louis' signature music festival was LouFest, a small, but growing two-day festival featuring a variety of rock, blues, rap and country. 

LouFest 2018 was slated for the weekend of September 9. About a week prior, we started hearing rumors that LouFest wasn't going to happen. We sent reporters to look at the festival grounds and it didn't appear that anything was going on. The organizers claimed that everything was fine and the show would go on, but we kept hearing otherwise.

Our arts reporter, Jeremy Goodwin, started calling various vendors to see if he could find someone to talk about the festival's status. He finally found three vendors who verified the same story: Listen Live Entertainment, the festival's organizer, hadn't been paying its vendors on time. One of our sources had pulled out of the festival after 2017 because of how Listen Live treated him. We reported on the problems that day and LouFest organizers responded that the show was still a go.

A few days later, that all changed. Festival organizers announced late at night via Twitter that the event was cancelled. They blamed the weather, money problems and negative media coverage.

We turned a feature that day explaining what happened and what the reaction was from fans, vendors and musicians. Jeremy also appeared on St. Louis On The Air, our daily talk show, explaining events and he provided news spots for our newscast. All of those elements are included in this sound file. 

Copyright 2021 St. Louis Public Radio. To see more, visit St. Louis Public Radio.

Shula Neuman is the executive editor at St. Louis Public Radio. She came the station in late 2013 as a subject matter editor, after having worked as an editor for NPR in Washington, D.C. Shula started her journalism career as a general assignment reporter for the Watertown Daily Times and made the switch to radio when she took a job as a reporter/evening newscaster at St. Louis Public Radio. After that, Shula reported on economic development for Cleveland’s public radio station. This is Shula’s second stint with St. Louis Public Radio. She says she just can’t stay away from her hometown because she’s tired of rooting for the Cardinals in absentia. Shula has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University; an Executive M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis; and a bachelor’s from Reed College in Portland, OR. She claims she has no intention of going back to school again.