A music-industry insider alleges that Street Scene founder Rob Hagey has been in discussions with AEG Live, the L.A.-based concert-promotion company that owns the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
In 1984, Hagey held the first Street Scene, a two-stage production in the Gaslamp Quarter. The event was moved to Petco Park in 2004. For the past two years, the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot has been the site of Street Scene. Attendance has declined from 105,000 in 2004 to 70,000 in 2006. Hagey was recently denied the use of Balboa Park for next year's Street Scene.
Insiders say Hagey's biggest challenge may be insurance-related costs. This past August, when concertgoers pushed forward to get closer to see Tool, a handful of fans in front of the stage were injured. Gary Bongiovanni, publisher of concert-industry magazine Pollstar, says that any insurance claims from the Tool incident could increase Street Scene's expenses.
"It is actuarially based," says Bongiovanni. "[Insurance policies] are written based on each event. This is not to say a company would say Street Scene is not insurable. But they may ask for a whole lot more money."
In regard to AEG/ Coachella taking over Street Scene, Bongiovanni says, "After [Hurricane] Katrina, [AEG] came in during their hour of need and resurrected New Orleans' Jazz and Heritage Festival."
Neither Hagey nor AEG executive vice president Tom Miserendino responded to a request for comment.
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, held in Indio since 1999, expands from two to three days next year (April 27, 28, and 29). Paul Tollett established what has become Southern California's major music festival. He would not discuss the rumored acquisition of Street Scene.
One promoter suggested that Hagey "would have moved Street Scene to the Del Mar Fairgrounds in a second, but [the Fairgrounds] control all their alcohol sales. They won't let anyone from the outside come in and make any money [from alcohol sales]."