Crowne Plaza Hotel Cancels This Weekend's Arizona 420 Festival, Cites Payment Default
Benjamin Leatherman Attendees of last year's Arizona 420 Festival.
Sorry to harsh your mellow, stoners, but we've got some bad news. If you were planning to attend the three-day Arizona 420 Festival this weekend at the Crowne Plaza Hotel -- including seeing Fishbone or any of the four dozen other acts booked to play the event -- said plans may have gone up in smoke Thursday night.
News broke Thursday that hotel management has canceled the marijuana-friendly festival less than 24 hours before its scheduled kickoff Friday due to an alleged "breach of contract" and "payment default" on the part of the festival's promoter.
In a press release sent out Thursday announcing the 420 festival's cancellation, Crowne Plaza general manger Adam Stanchina lays out several claims against CJ Johnson of E-Concert Live, the company that has organized the event the past several years. That includes alleging that the promoter was remiss in paying certain fees to the hotel, which apparently caused the hotel to pull the plug.
"Our efforts up to the last minute to collect contractually required payments from the promoter, [CJ Johnson] were not successful as late as this afternoon well past all deadlines, forcing the hotel with no choice but to terminate the agreement," Stanchina says in the release. "We are disappointed, and certainly hope this regrettable action caused by the promoter creates minimal inconvenience to any guests who may have been planning to attend the event."
"The simple fact is that Mr. Johnson failed repeatedly to meet his obligations to make scheduled payments for us to host this event as very clearly stated in the agreement. "
We've heard a few unconfirmed rumors that the issue may not be as one-sided as hotel management is claiming.
Messages to Johnson from New Times seeking comment on the matter -- or, frankly, for his side of the story -- had not been returned as of this writing.
A source with E-Concert Live stated that they're attempting to find a new venue for the festival, which typically includes a slew of performances by reggae, hip-hop, and rock acts, as well as an enormous amount of vendors and dispensaries selling their wares.
Johnson sent a lengthy message to New Times via Facebook early this morning regarding E-Concert Live's side of the story, which you can read after the jump.