The city cancelled this month’s Sunset Junction festival despite pleas from organizers that the Silver Lake music and street fair generated essential funds to support the group’s year-around youth and community programs. That may have been the case in the past but tax records show the event, which attracted an estimated 100,000 visitors, was far from a money-maker in recent years, according to the L.A. Weekly. The festival’s high expenses consumed nearly all of the revenues, leaving little left for the Sunset Junction Neighborhood Alliance, which ran the event. Said the Weekly:
Though the festival generated nearly $400,000 in 2009, the most recent year for which tax records have been filed, by the time organizers paid the musical acts, permits and other expenses, less than $500 was left for youth outreach. The year before, the festival just broke even, generating nothing for its youth-employment project at the now-closed Tsunami coffeehouse on Sunset Boulevard — or for its sports or school programs.
It looks like the festival’s last profitable year was in 2007, when it generated $345,000 after expenses were paid. While the event may have had trouble covering its expenses, the alliance, headed by former hairdresser Michael McKinley, spent $12,000 in one quarter on lawyers and lobbyists and lawyers to defend the festival during city council and neighborhood meetings.