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Save The Hipster Fest: Sunset Junction Owes Taxpayers Money But Still Wants Your Donations to Overcome City Rejection

Down for the cause, bro?
Down for the cause, bro?
Colin Young-Wolff

Update: Our sister blog West Coast Sound reports here that some bands are looking for plan B despite the promoter's word that no one has canceled. First posted at 6:07 a.m.

The hail Mary Pass of the Week Award goes to Sunset Junction, the three-decade-old street fair-cum-hipster fest in Silver Lake that was rejected by city officials only days before its 31st annual party was scheduled to go off this weekend.

That's because organizers have more hope than Shepard Fairey: They've set up an account to take donations from you, the public, in an effort to get the city to overturn its decision.

You see, the organizers of Sunset Junction, while charging tens of thousands of you $25 at the door (they've called it a "donation" in the past) to hang out on a city street, still owe you, the taxpayer, money:

City News Service:

Sunset Junction organizers owe the city about $256,000 for police, fire,

transportation and other services from the event in 2010. The city requires special events promoters to pay estimated city fees in full before issuing permits, but the board made an exception for Sunset Junction last year.

The estimated fees for this weekend's event total about $142,000. Board members said they would consider issuing the permit if the organizers had the money on hand.

A lawyer for the nonprofit said the organization only had about $50,000 available.

Where'd the money go?

These ladies need your help. Won't you donate today?
These ladies need your help. Won't you donate today?
Colin Young-Wolff

We don't know, but we do know that Andrea Alarcon, president of the Board of Public Works board that voted 3-1 to deny this year's Junction, isn't happy. Here's what she said Monday:

It's quite disrespectful, at least at this juncture, that this organization -- regardless of how much good you do in the city and for at-risk youth -- that you would pay your legal counsel, that you would pay your entertainment acts, that you would pay various other entities and be receiving funds from sponsors, yet you do not and will not and have not paid the city for services rendered.

Oh yeah, Sunset Junction is a dot-org -- a.k.a. nonprofit -- and organizers say they spend their dough on things like keeping kids out of gangs.

The promoters are keeping hope alive. They even claim that acts they booked for the weekend, including the Butthole Surfers, Lil Jon, KD Lang and a bunch of DJs, have not canceled.

Here's what organizers said in a statement last night:

We remain optimistic that we will reach our goal and we're diligently making every effort possible to move forward with Sunset Junction this weekend.

You never know, maybe the City Council will step in and override Public Works board's vote. And Public Works could always reconsider during a meeting tomorrow.

But we think it's pretty nervy that, after owing you money, taking your cash at the door, and using your streets, the organizers still want more. If, after all that, you still want to give for the worthy cause of this hipster fest, donate away.

Added: Kevin Bronson, a former Los Angeles Times Calendar editor and L.A's music blogger laureate, has listed the pros and cons of approving Sunset Junction here.

Here's a taste of one of the "cons:"

Sunset Junction had the brass to organize, book talent for and widely advertise a festival that had not been permitted and was not in financial good stead with the city.

-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us. Follow us on Twitter, too: @dennisjromero.