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County, local hotels facing loss in revenue after cancellation of Sun City Music Festival

Organizers of the Sun City Music Festival announced Wednesday the festival will not be returning to Ascarate Park this year.

The annual festival, which brings some of electronic music’s biggest names to the city, announced on its Facebook page the event has been canceled.

“They said there were a number of factors that went into this decision,” County Commissioner David Stout said, “But they did not elaborate as to what those factors were.”

ABC-7 obtained an email sent to the County by Disco Donnie Presents President Michele Servais, which states in part, “The decision to not hold the festival was based on a variety of factors, but ultimately, the festival’s desire to protect excellent fan experiences.”

Disco Donnie Presents is a company that organizes electric music concerts nationwide. ABC-7 reached out to Servais several times, but has not been able to reach him.

Stout said the announcement came as a surprise to the County, which owns and operates Ascarate Park. “I know that [the county Parks and Recreation Department] have spoken to the event and started looking at setting aside the space for the date they had requested, and we were working towards that, and then all of a sudden, our staff got the correspondence.”

“As far as I can tell, there were not any misunderstanding or any disagreements with the contract,” Stout said.

However, the county commissioner did say the cancellation does affect the County’s economy. “One of these events can generate up to $150,000. We won’t have the revenue we have had in the past three years,” Stout said. “We will have to take that and tighten the belt at the park.”

The County isn’t the only entity feeling the impact of the cancellation. The Hotel and Lodging Association said local hotels and motels take a hit as well. “It’s going to affect us tremendously,” Gabriel Ayub, president of the El Paso Hotel and Lodging Association, said. “We are very disappointed to hear the city was going to lose this event for this year.”

Ayub told ABC-7 the hotel industry relies on weekend events. “It’s going to affect our hotel occupancies tremendously, as well as the revenue as well,” Ayud added. “We are hoping that it returns next year, and it returns stronger and better, because we want these types of events to continue in this beautiful city.”

Stout agreed. “I hope that we can work with them next year,” he said. “We are moving forward and we want to keep communicating with the organizers of the event, so we are ready when they want to come back.”

Sun City Music Festival stated it hopes to return in 2019.

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