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St. Louis Ends Festival Contract With ICM Partners

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (CelebrityAccess) — The City of St. Louis has ended its agreement with ICM Partners and Summer Rocks LLC to create "Summer Rocks" a summer music festival series in downtown St. Louis after the agency produced no events over the summer. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the decision to terminate the agreement was mutual and ICM has paid the city $50,000 for the failure to produce shows this year.

“This ambitious endeavor did not come to fruition despite our best efforts, but the city took in fees that far exceeded the time and effort spent pursuing it,” Mary Ellen Ponder, chief of staff to Mayor Francis Slay, said in a statement. “We will continue to seek out opportunities that will bring St. Louis the type of world-class music experience that it deserves.”

The 10-year deal provided ICM with exclusive access to the Gateway Mall with a mandate to produce festivals with major touring artists, providing the city with events akin to Chicago's Lollapalooza.

"With the backdrop of the historic Gateway Arch and the shores of the Mississippi River," ICM said in a press release in April announcing the agreement. "The festivals will bring together top-tier music acts from a variety of genres with local musicians, who are an integral part of the cultural fabric of the city. St. Louis is steeped in rich culture and history, and we are excited to partner with the city to further grow its reputation as an iconic music destination."

However, a planned country music festival set for Memorial Day weekend, and a rock festival on Labor Day weekend were both canceled. As well, ICM's exclusivity agreement displaced many locally produced events, such as Taste of St. Louis, Ribfest and Bluesweek.

"This was not a good business decision by the city," St. Louis Blues Society president Jeremy Segel-Moss told the Riverfront Times. "By not having an event like Bluesweek, you're putting hundreds of people out of work. The city wanted to make a business decision, but the city was making a lot of tax dollars out of the events that were already happening. And it was important having festivals that support the culture of the city and our musical heritage."

ICM did not respond to a request for comment. – Staff Writers