Lil Wayne performs at the 2016 BET Experience in Los Angeles. He is one of 10 artists confirmed for Starfest, which was scheduled for Sept. 8-9 in Plano’s Oak Point Park, until the city cut ties with the festival Thursday. Rich Fury Associated Press
Lil Wayne performs at the 2016 BET Experience in Los Angeles. He is one of 10 artists confirmed for Starfest, which was scheduled for Sept. 8-9 in Plano’s Oak Point Park, until the city cut ties with the festival Thursday. Rich Fury Associated Press

Music

How Starfest, the ‘pop-up’ Plano music festival, all but imploded

By Matthew Martinez

mmartinez@star-telegram.com

August 17, 2017 3:39 PM

PLANO

David Taylor, the co-founder of Starfest Music Festival, insists the show will go on.

“It has to,” Taylor said in a telephone interview just hours after the City of Plano announced Thursday morning that it was terminating its contract with Starfest’s promoters.

“The City of Plano has decided to terminate our contract with the promoters of the Starfest Music Festival, planned for September 8-9 at Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve. We believe the cancellation of this contract is in the best interest of the City and our community,” was all the statement said.

Taylor said that the city’s cancellation revolves around a clause in the contract that requires 48 hours’ notice before the festival announces each new artist, which he acknowledges has been difficult to provide, as the concert was publicly announced less than two weeks ago.

Starfest has gained notoriety recently in the North Texas music community, even drawing comparisons to the disastrous Fyre Fest fiasco in May, due to trouble filling out a lineup that is advertised on the festival’s website as 60 artists over two days. Thursday, according to the festival’s website, 10 acts, including Lil’ Wayne and fellow rappers Flo Rida and Machine Gun Kelly, were being advertised.

Taylor and his three co-founders conceived the event five months ago as a pop-up festival in which half of the lineup remains a secret until the crowd arrives on Day 1 of the show. But as the concept began to take shape, Taylor says solidifying that lineup turned into a nightmare.

He said that one booking agent took more than $250,000 from the promoters and gambled it away in Las Vegas before another promoter decided to sue Starfest for commissions he alleges remain unpaid after he brought musicians onto the festival’s lineup.

The Dallas Observer was the first to report on the feasibility issues surrounding the two-day festival, which founders envisioned would bring 60 artists spanning a mish-mash of genres including hip-hop, country, EDM and pop.

The paper noted, among other oddities, that Lil’ Wayne’s last DFW concert was at Dallas’ South Side Ballroom, which has a capacity of 4,300, but the Starfest site advertises a capacity for 30,000 for Oak Point Park and advises potential show-goers to buy tickets before the event “sells out.”

Taylor would not comment on how many tickets had been sold to the event, but assured fans who had already bought tickets that ticket-sales revenue had not been touched by the festival team.

For now, Starfest is looking for another venue, but has only about three weeks to get it figured out.

Fortress Festival, Day 1, was a rager in the Cultural District

Highlights from Wolf Parade, Flying Lotus, Run The Jewels, and the beautiful Fort Worth crowd who braved the not-so-beautiful weather Saturday. Video by Matthew Martinez.

Matthew Martinez mmartinez@star-telegram.com

Matthew Martinez: 817-390-7667, @MCTinez817

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