North Texas

Plano Cuts Ties With Starfest Music Festival Over Contract Dispute

Promoter vows the show must go on with a different venue playing host

With performers booked, tickets sold and the clock winding down to showtime, Starfest Music Festival's co-founder said he's ready. There's just one problem: the event no longer has a home.

The city of Plano cut ties with the festival, which was scheduled to take place in Oak Point Park.

"We want to move somewhere in the DFW area that can hold this, because whether we like it or not, we've booked these artists," said promoter and co-founder, David Taylor.

Plano wasn't a sponsor, but it was playing a supporting role by overseeing permits, checking in with the Starfest team almost daily.

After a series of emails, those checks ended Wednesday with a termination letter. Plano told Starfest it violated the terms of their agreement.

"We believe the cancellation of this contract is in the best interest of the city and our community," a city statement read.

According to the agreement, promoters were supposed to get contracts from headlining artists to the city at least 48 hours before the names were publicly released, but in at least some cases, that didn't happen.

Machine Gun Kelly, Lil Wayne, Flo Rida and French 75 are among 10 of the big acts publicized on the festival's website.

Taylor said he's been transparent with the city. He said talent negotiations were evolving and his team couldn't always meet that 48-hour time frame.

"It's been very difficult to be able to have that constant communication because things change in real time," he said.

As for change, Taylor needs a new venue that can hold thousands of people just weeks away.

He's optimistic he can make it happen, but if not, he said fans will get their money back.

"We've never touched the ticket sales, so all that capital is sitting in an escrow account. So that is completely safe, so if this does not happen for any reason whatsoever, then all ticket sales are refundable," Taylor said.

Some said it's not time for curtain call just yet.

"I mean, as long as they had a refund policy if it didn't go through, I guess I would still be fine with purchasing a ticket," said Chris Olson, of Plano.

Taylor said he and his team will keep working to make Starfest Music Festival a reality, even at the sacrifice of his bottom line.

"I mean this is something that we're paying for out of our own pockets and out of our own close family, friends and investors. This is something that we're doing, and unfortunately if there's any risk, it's all 100 percent on us," he said.

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