Friday, April 20, 2007

Sources say Seattle Center on verge of pulling plug on SOAP

Several credible sources, who asked not to be identified, have told the Seattle Gay News on Friday that Independent Event Solutions (IES) has pulled out as the event production company for the Seattle Pride Parade and Festival on Sunday, June 24.

An agreement with the Seattle Center regarding SOAP’s $100,026.33 past due debt from 2006 required that SOAP pay $50,000 in immediate debt service and hire an event production company. IES had originally agreed to put up the $50,000.

Without IES, according to the sources, the Seattle Center is unlikely to proceed with a final contract with SOAP to use the Seattle Center for their event.

John Merner, Seattle Center’s Director of Productions, would not confirm or deny our sources. He also said that the Seattle Center had extensive conversations with all the parties and would issue a more factual statement early next week.

Several calls and an e-mail to Dave Meinert, co-owner of IES, went unreturned on Friday.

The Seattle LGBT Community Center has called an “emergency session” of their board to discuss a “situation” with Seattle Out And Proud and what the LGBT Community Center might do if the Sunday event collapsed, according to an e-mail on Friday afternoon from Executive Director Shannon Thomas to a planning committee for Pride events on Saturday.

The e-mail reads, in part:

We have potential to make some significant change with Seattle's pride festival, and the board needs to ratify any next steps and responses. Per their lead, I'm in a brief holding pattern with QueerFest until they decide how to proceed with this potential opportunity for The Center and our greater community.

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