LivingSocial’s July 13 Backyard Festival, which was to feature Aerosmith, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Yeasayer, has been cancelled after the New York City Parks Department said the extensive damage caused by the rain-and-mud-filled Governors Ball two weeks ago would not be repaired in time.
“LivingSocial was notified by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation about damage to their event site on Randall’s Island, which occurred in early June when torrential rains hit and left mud where there was once a field,” LivingSocial said in a statement to Billboard. “We visited the site on Monday and were sad to learn that it could not be repaired in time for our Backyard Festival. We tried to find an alternative venue for July 13 but, unfortunately, were unsuccessful.
“Our fans and friends have all been incredibly understanding and our most important task right now is to make sure that all of our customers are refunded. In addition to full refunds we are giving our customers extra LivingSocial Deal Bucks for future events or purchases.”
The cancellation notice posted on the Backyard Festival’s website.
Held June 7-9, Governors Ball attracted nearly 40,000 people despite a torrential downpour courtesy of Tropical Storm Andrea. At 10 inches, the amount of rainfall was record-breaking and set off flash-flood warnings that eventually prevented most of the evening acts from performing, including Kings of Leon, who were forced to postpone their show. As a result, the grounds transformed from a grassy fields to a swampy, mud-filled mess. In some parts the mud reached above the knee. Two weeks later, the grounds have yet to recover from the soggy destruction.
“The Governors Ball Music Festival is honored to call Randall’s Island Park home and is working closely with the New York City Department of Parks and the Randall’s Island Park Alliance to ensure it is in great condition for all New Yorkers to enjoy for the months and years to come,” Governors Ball officials said in a statement. “The Governors Ball aims to leave the Park in even better condition than it was before this year’s Festival, which was hit by record rains earlier this month.
A few weeks prior to Governors Ball, Great GoogaMooga in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park was canceled on the last day (May 19) “in the interest of safety and prevention of damage to the park grounds” from the harsh weather forecasts.
Last year, Lollapalooza organizers paid $350,000 to Grant Park due to sustained damage from a rain storm that lasted a mere 45 minutes.
The Electric Zoo Festival is scheduled for Randall’s Island at the end of August, unless the grounds remain unsuitable.