AEG Live reportedly lobbied Mayor de Blasio in order for Panorama Festival to take place
As it turns out, AEG Live was not granted permission to hold the newly announced Panorama Festival this summer out of the good graces of Mayor de Blasio, but rather due to some pocket change in the sum of $150,000. The event promoter allegedly paid Harold M. Ickes, a longtime friend of de Blasio, the aforementioned amount in the hopes of obtaining permission to host an “East Coast Coachella.” Ickes, in turn, helped to contribute just over $19,000 to the mayor’s re-election campaign in the days leading up to AEG’s announcement that Panorama Festival was no longer an idea, but a real festival.
While AEG Live, Founders Entertainment, and Madison Square Garden’s applications to host a summer event at Corona Park were each rejected, AEG was given the green light to start planning its first foray into the east coast – but instead at Randalls Island, in July. Its two New York-based competitors did not receive permission to begin producing their events, despite donating $29,690 and $56,000, respectively.
City officials howver claim that the administration remained impartial while reviewing applications: “The parks department makes decisions on all event permits based on a standard criteria that includes impact on the park and its users,” Karen Hinton, the mayor’s press secretary, commented.
Amid cutthroat competition from both local and national promoters, de Blasio’s decision raises the question as to how far favoritism and prioritizing the interests of influential donors will go.
Via: NY Times