Last Pool Party Canceled, OSA Slams Jelly, Jelly Prepares Rebuttal: "Their Statement Contains Numerous Falsehoods That We Can Document"

At the !!! Pool Party Sunday, in (slightly) happier times. Pic by Sam Horine.
At the !!! Pool Party Sunday, in (slightly) happier times. Pic by Sam Horine.

A bad summer for the Jelly Pool Parties is ending worse. Word spread last night that the August 29th show at East River State Park, featuring Delorean, Dominique Young Unique, and two never-revealed SECRET SPECIAL GUESTS has been canceled by the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn (OSA) via a stupendously bitchy press release calling Jelly out for unpaid debts: "Our primary concern is improving open space in North Brooklyn, and we will not endanger our mission by putting the finances and reputation of our organization at risk by allowing Jelly to slide on its financial obligations." That full press release is below; reached late last night, Jelly's Sarah Hooper told me the organization planned a full rebuttal: "We are gathering our thoughts/statements and will be back to you soon, but I can 100 percent say that their statement contains numerous falsehoods that we can document."

Though the Sunday-afternoon shows themselves have gone reasonably smoothly (even the weather-plagued, hastily relocated Cap'n Jazz gig), Jelly itself has made its frustrations clear, from a mid-season burst of computer theft to an NPR article in which Hooper bemoaned the rising costs and dwindling joys of doing these things at all. (Conclusion: "I kind of hate the Pool Parties now.") The OSA press release ain't gonna help:

Concert Promoter's Default Forces the Cancellation of Final Jelly Concert at Williamsburg Waterfront

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn (OSA), through its programming arm OSA Presents, announced today that payment default by JellyNYC, LLC (Jelly) forced the cancellation of the August 29th summer concert at East River State Park on the Williamsburg waterfront in Brooklyn. The concerts scheduled for August 14, 19 and 30 will take place as scheduled.

"We are deeply disappointed that the August 29th show has been canceled due to the continuing unmet financial obligations of the event's promoter, Jelly," said Adam Perlmutter, Board member of OSA. "Over the years, we provided generous financial subsidies and other forms of support for Jelly's concerts in order to keep the Sunday shows free to the public. But, as a community-based non-profit, OSA can no longer cover both the costs of putting on these events -- equipment, labor, and payments to the State for use of their park -- and Jelly's substantial debt. Our primary concern is improving open space in North Brooklyn, and we will not endanger our mission by putting the finances and reputation of our organization at risk by allowing Jelly to slide on its financial obligations."

"We are proud to continue to provide many other forms of programming in our parks this summer, including some of music's biggest acts. Ultimately, our neighborhood and those who care about open space deserve to see improvements to our parks, as well as free programming in them. We remain committed to providing free concerts in North Brooklyn in the future, expanding and diversifying offerings to better serve our entire neighborhood."

"The abrupt end to the concert series is certainly unfortunate," said State Parks Regional Director Rachel Gordon. "Although there will be disappointment, the public should know that we will continue to host concerts in the park, as well as other activities, programming and resources that will benefit the people of Williamsburg and continue to add to its unique landscape."

OSA became formally involved with the North Brooklyn concerts in 2008 when NYC Dept. of Parks & Recreation issued a bid to produce the shows at McCarren Park Pool. When industry professionals did not wish to take the overall financial risk and management responsibility for building the stage and providing the necessary support infrastructure, OSA stepped forward. OSA produced the McCarren Pool concerts to insure that free community programming, including Jelly's concerts, continued. Also, with OSA managing the concerts, rather than a private company, proceeds would go directly back into community parks improvements. The pricing OSA provided to JellyNYC was 85% less than ticketed concerts, in order for the local community to enjoy free programming.

As the Pool moved into reconstruction, OSA sought an alternative venue for the shows. In 2009, OSA, through OSA Presents, negotiated with NY State Parks who graciously allowed the concerts to continue nearby at the East River State Park on the Williamsburg waterfront. Although there were substantial operational difficulties in working with Jelly, OSA Presents gave Jelly another opportunity in 2010.

This summer, continuing the model at McCarren Pool, OSA Presents hosted ticketed shows to subsidize free programming and raise funds to improve our local parks. This summer, Jelly was given free fixed infrastructure, as well as substantially discounted labor for its shows.

OSA and OSA Presents expressed regrets to the two artists JellyNYC confirmed with the venue for 8/29, Delorean and Dominique Young Unique. This summer, OSA Presents hosted the first East coast appearance of Faith No More in more than a decade; new diversity in North Brooklyn programming with Nas/Damien Marley; as well as Weezer, Band of Horses/Grzzly Bear, Primus/Gogol Bordelo, and more. Still to come in September, it is presenting Modest Mouse 9/14, Pavement 9/19, and Belle & Sebastian 9/30.

The Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn (OSA) www.osanb.org is a nonprofit that raises funds, links community volunteers and works with our local elected representatives and government agencies to improve and create parks in North Brooklyn.

This Sunday's Pool Party, headlined by Chromeo, is still on, by the way. Last one of the summer. Come... celebrate.


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