Simpsonville festival Aloft files for bankruptcy - FOX Carolina 21

Simpsonville festival Aloft files for bankruptcy

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Hot air balloons fly at Aloft. (File/FOX Carolina) Hot air balloons fly at Aloft. (File/FOX Carolina)

Simpsonville's long-time hot air balloon and Memorial Day weekend festival is grounded and will no longer happen.

Festival organizers of Aloft announced they are in the process of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy Wednesday.

The city of Simpsonville and festival workers said they are among those who have not been paid by the event.

While Aloft's lawyers declined to comment, saying they will not be able to speak about the specifics of the case for 30 days, event organizers released the following statement:

Aloft, Inc., (formerly Freedom Weekend Aloft) along with its many sponsors and dedicated volunteers has contributed to the Upstate for more than three decades. This premier Southeastern event filled with beautiful hot air balloons, music venues, outdoor adventures, and a community focus will be no more due to lack of attendance. With heavy hearts, the Board of Directors and event organizers announced today that Aloft is in the process of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Any further correspondence pertaining to Aloft should be directed to the Skinner Law Firm in Greenville, SC.

Simpsonville City Councilman Taylor Graham said Aloft owes the city thousands of dollars plus interest for use of Heritage Park for the event in 2013, and now 2014. He said they have yet to pay up.

"$52,900 that would be owed to the city of Simpsonville by Aug. 1," Graham told FOX Carolina over the phone.

An employee of the festival claims Aloft also owes him payment for his work this year. He said he was promised $600, but his calls to the Aloft's president have gone unreturned.

"This is the first year that they did this to me and not paid me like they said they would," Danny Putnam said.

Putnam did janitorial work for this year's festival and said because he has yet to be paid, his summer vacation plans are dashed.

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