SAN ANTONIO -- The CEO of LaborFest comes forward to explain why several artist performances were canceled.
The O'Jay's, Chaka Khan and Betty Wright never took the stage at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center over the weekend. On the LaborFest Facebook page, CEO Larry Williams posted a brief video message and said there were "unforeseen challenges” that he would explain in detail later on.
On Monday, Williams provided an explanation with a letter. Since he changed the venue from Sunken Garden to the convention center, he said he had to change ticket companies. Williams said he was unable to access funds from pre-sale tickets because of the change and was unable to pay for expenses.
Demetric Herron, a vendor at the festival, said Williams should have explained the details earlier on. Herron paid more than a thousand dollars for a spot at the festival and food to sell.
"You need to be a man and stand up on your own two feet, look people in the eye who you've promised things to, and made agreements with," said Herron. "A lot of vendors who were there, that's there the only source of income. There were some franchise owners out there and all that good stuff, they lost a lot of good money. People just packing up."
District 2 councilman, Alan Warrick, who has promoted LaborFest in the past as a positive event for the community, said he spoke to Williams over the weekend about the show cancellations. Warrick said Williams intends to smooth things over.
"Larry is a great guy. He's done a lot of great things in the community. You guys have covered stories of him giving back to football camps, and buying turkeys for folks. He's done a lot of great things and I'm sure he's going to regroup and pull it back together."
Williams did not return our multiple calls or messages for comment on the story.
(© 2016 KENS)