The final concert of the free Jelly Pool Party series has been canceled because the promoter has run into financial problems.
JellyNYC, which has been promoting The Pool Parties at East River State Park in Williamsburg, has defaulted on its payments to the Open Space Alliance to produce the shows, forcing the park group to pull the plug on the Aug. 29 date, a show that would have featured Delorean and Dominique Young Unique.
The announcement will not endanger concerts scheduled for this Thursday and this Sunday, Aug. 22. In addition, paid shows scheduled in September featuring Pavement, Modest Mouse, and Belle and Sebastian are on.
Sources said that Jelly had difficulty paying its vendors over the past year and a half, bouncing several checks and amassing debts of tens of thousands of dollars.
That worried the Open Space Alliance and the state parks department, which had ordered Jelly to pay its bills or risk losing its stake in the waterfront series next year.
“[The Open Space Alliance] can no longer cover both the costs of putting on these events, equipment, labor, and payments to the state for use of their park, and Jelly’s substantial debt,” said Open Space Alliance board member Adam Perlmutter. “Our primary concern is improving open space in North Brooklyn, and we will not endanger our mission by putting the finances and reputation of our organization at risk by allowing Jelly to slide on its financial obligations.”
The loss could be a significant blow to the Williamsburg-based music promotion company — and, indeed, the entire concert-based economy and lifestyle of the neighborhood.
JellyNYC founded the Pool Parties five years ago with the Open Space Alliance at McCarren Park Pool and secured exclusive rights to promote and book bands for the event last year after an aggressive appeal to Sen. Chuck Schumer to save the music shows.
This year, attendance has dropped, though organizers attribute lower turnout to insufferably high temperatures and lower wattage of a series that once brought in Band of Horses, MGMT, and Yo La Tengo.
The company has had a rocky summer—at one point, the state parks agency canceled a Sunday concert due to the threat of inclement weather, a move that cost Jelly thousands of dollars. Also on the red side of the ledger was a break-in at Jelly’s offices last month.
Jelly co-founder Alexander Kane declined to speak about the situation, saying, “When we’re ready to talk about next summer and later this summer, we’ll do that.”
But the company’s attention may already be drifting away from the East River.
In July, Jelly launched a six-concert series at a vacant Wythe Avenue lot called, “The Rock Yard,” which will continue through September and held a block party last week on the South Street Seaport, hosted by the record label, Mad Decent.
And JellyNYC co-owner Sarah Hooper hinted that the company was pondering abandoning the Pool Parties altogether, telling National Public Radio, “I kind of hate the Pool Parties now. They make us all really sad when we go on site. And then I go to a Mad Decent block party or our things at Rock Yard, and it’s exactly how it used to be.”
©2010 Community News Group
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