Somehow, the organizers of the first annual Portland Taco Festival appear to have failed to anticipate what would happen when a large number of people showed up wanting to eat tacos. The festival was supposed to last for two days, but now it’s being compared to Fyre Festival and the second day of the event was cancelled after a disastrous Saturday. Attendees have accused the festival of running out of food, and many are furiously demanding refunds after saying the Taco Festival failed to live up to its promises.
According to KATU News, the two-day event billed itself as the largest celebration of tacos in Portland.
“We are creating a full weekend of fun and food,” the Portland Taco Festival website boasted. “Join your family and friends along with several thousand other TACO lovers to enjoy a carefully crafted group of the best TACO creators in the whole city.”
Tickets cost $17.50 per person, and $10 for parking. The Portland Taco Festival Facebook page said the event had sold out for Saturday.
Some attendees told KATU the festival lines were over an hour long, and that they heard the vendors ran out of tacos after just 90 minutes.
"We got in line and we weren't going anywhere, and then someone told us that the taco truck ran out of food," said festival attendee Caroline Spangler. "It's only fair that we get our money back."
Attendees have been complaining on Twitter and the festival's Facebook page.
Portland police reportedly arrived to help manage the crowd as hundreds of people shouted that they had been ripped off and wanted their money back.
Organizers told people to ask for refunds through Give Back Tickets, which processed the ticket sales. Give Back Tickets’ website says it does not give refunds.
In a statement on its website, Portland Taco Festival organizers said: “The fact is there were some key issues that made the event fall short in a lot of people’s minds. For this we are deeply sorry. We are not making any excuses. We take full responsibility for everything. We just wanted to be as transparent as possible.”
Organizers attributed the chaos to technical issues and unclear signs.