Jelly NYC, the group that organizes the popular pool party concert series in East River State Park, has defaulted on its payments to the Open Space Alliance, forcing that organization, which produces the shows, to cancel the series’ last August 29 concert.
In their public communications, the OSA has clearly fallen into the “parent” role to Jelly’s kids. Their press release on the end of the series makes references to Jelly having been warned about money several times before, and is complete with “this hurts me more than it hurts you” language.
“The abrupt end to the concert series is certainly unfortunate,” said State Parks Regional Director Rachel Gordon. “Although there will be disappointment, the public should know that we will continue to host concerts in the park, as well as other activities, programming and resources that will benefit the people of Williamsburg and continue to add to its unique landscape.”
Despite their popularity, and vocal backing by Sen. Chuck Schumer, Jelly finds itself tens of thousands of dollars in debt, which actually doesn’t sound awful considering their costs and questionable revenue stream. NPR looked into the group’s finances just last week.
But while Jelly’s profile in the community has risen along with the popularity of the concerts, they haven’t made more money. And Hooper says the process of booking and producing the free concerts has become more difficult. The move to East River State Park meant a doubling of the fees Jelly pays to rent the site, along with the loss of revenue from beer sales and increased security demands. “It’s been a tough year for everyone,” Hooper says. “This summer has been about digging ourselves out of the hole of last year’s Pool Parties.”