Chaos in Chattahoochee Hillsides: Rain catches TomorrowWorld organizers ill-prepared, departing thousands stranded overnight outdoors the festival
You may be excused when the pictures appearing out of Chattahoochee Hillsides-youthful people sleeping along the side of the street, under trees, as well as on the hoods of cars-help remind you a lot of migrant crisis in Europe than the usual concert. However the organizers behind TomorrowWorld, the huge electronic dance music festival that’s attracted thousands fans for this rural corner of unincorporated Fulton each year since 2013, were caught unprepared for that rain-and that’s produced an enormous pr problem for that festival.
When Linda made the 30-mile trek yesterday from Midtown to Chattahoochee Hillsides for TomorrowWorld, she was ready for that rain, but figured the festival were built with a contingency plan in position for that 160,000 people likely to attend 5-day, four-night electronic dance music festival. But when Nederlander DJ Hardwell ended his headlining set, walking off stage around 1 o’clock today, Linda was shocked at what came next: a 5-mile walk to some shuttle stop a four-hour wait for bus that never showed up along with a $200 Uber ride that got her home at 7:30 a.m. Others weren’t as lucky.
“Some people just threw in the towel, sleeping along the side of the street, without any street lights,” stated Linda, an Atlanta resident, who declined to provide her surname. “You didn’t have mobile phone service. It had been a occur.Inches
Through the accounts of Linda along with other festivalgoers, TomorrowWorld’s aimless planning wasn’t only a occur-it had been a tragedy. Cassandra Foley, a 23-year-old Baltimore resident who compensated $500 on her three-day ticket, compared her on-site campgrounds to some “refugee camp” after it flooded with water, which forced her to pay for about $100 an evening for hotels one half-hour away-an issue exacerbated through the unanticipated delays of having interior and exterior the festival grounds, caused partly by shuttles that never appeared to appear, which forced her to overlook artists like Bassnectar.
“It’s hands lower the worst experience ever,” Foley stated. “You know it’s bad if information allowing you to sleep on the top of the cars.”
Meanwhile, it had been as if another festival happening inside for that VIPs. Many had compensated extra for greater-finish cabins with beds, electricity, and use of better showers and bathrooms. Concierges checked them to their “cabanas” and “Dream Lodges” and described a few of the amenities: a trendy mess hall, a minimum of two cash bars, massages for a small fee, and also the option to obtain a rave-friendly makeover, with crystals, extensions, and Technicolor makeup. The very first from the stages would be a short walk (through dirt) from the comfortable accommodations. Most of the VIPs had use of rooftop bars with great views from the primary stage. Miami Beach-based LIV Nightclub even setup an outpost, filled with bottle service, white-colored banquettes, and servers in bikini tops and oral cavity-baring hot pants. Inside a huge tent beside the primary stage, chef Kevin Gillespie (of Gunshow and Revival) located a ten-course, white-colored tablecloth dinner for any couple of dozen people.
For individuals searching for assistance on Saturday, TomorrowWorld’s staffers and volunteers appeared to become undecided about how ticketholders should enter or exit the 8,000-acre Chattahoochee Hillsides farm bogged lower by thick, squelching dirt. Despite departing her home at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Marietta resident Julie Stewart spent five hrs looking to get in to the TomorrowWorld site-directed in the festival parking area to some Wal-Mart located 10 miles away in Union City, then told to mind to the Georgia Renaissance Fair parking area, where she anxiously waited for any shuttle-before really seeing any performances.
“Nobody understood what the heck happening at any time,Inches stated Stewart, who’s attended the festival each year, which weekend spent $1,100 for any Very important personel ticket. “Any individual who appeared as if the official, you’d question them an issue, and they’d either provide you with the wrong info, or take a look at as if you were stupid.”
Because of the overall disorder on Saturday-which motivated some attendees, based on Stewart, to consult the expertise of waiting hrs to obtain to the grounds because the “EDM internment camp”-TomorrowWorld organizers in early stages Sunday morning announced that ticketholders who weren’t already remaining at DreamVille, the festival’s camping grounds, wouldn’t be permitted in. “At TomorrowWorld, the security and pleasure in our visitors is definitely our most important,Inches festival organizers noted inside a statement released on Saturday night, before the cancellation. The believed 40,000 people still at TomorrowWorld are permitted to look at major EDM artists like David Guetta and Armin Van Buuren go ahead and take stage.
“Mother Nature has made the decision otherwise,” TomorrowWorld published on its Facebook page today. “Continuous rain fall during the last 72 hours has seriously limited capacity from the parking lots, entrance roads and drop- off locations around the festival site. The expertise of the TomorrowWorld visitors is definitely most important, so TomorrowWorld was made to close all daily parking lots and fall off locations.”
A festival spokesperson didn’t immediately react to our request comment about refunds-they published on Facebook that the refund guarantee could be “available soon”-or what brought to lots of people getting stranded. Foley, who wasn’t permitted back to her campground on Sunday, stated she didn’t expect reimbursement for that $100 price of Pearls-the cashless system in the festival-she’d put into her TomorrowWorld bracelet. The partial cancellation could dampen the general economic impact from the festival-an believed $72 million in 2014-and also the potential customers from the festival, unless of course major logistical changes they fit into position before the coming year.
“Nothing had been conveyed properly, there wasn’t any emergency response plan, as well as an [overall] insufficient readiness,” Linda stated. “I had only heard excellent achievements. However I most likely won’t visit any music festivals following this experience.”
Wishing to prevent the chaos two times in within 24 hours, Stewart left TomorrowWorld around 10 p.m. yesterday-skipping top artists like Hardwell, Afrojack, and Dimitri Vegas, which she desired to see-to really make it home in a reasonable hour. Wading through ankles-deep dirt for more than miles, she finally found a bus that helped get her to her vehicle, which got her home by 1 a.m. When a champion from the festival, Stewart states, she will not be returning.
“It was appalling,” Stewart stated. “They couldn’t control the elements. However they could control the way they reacted and just how they required proper care of their visitors. Rather they required benefit of people for his or her own profit.”
Update 9/28/15: Following on offers to offer refunds, TomorrowWorld organizers have made the decision to refund Sunday tickets, parking passes, and something-third of some three-day tickets. To request reimbursement, go to the festival’s website or email its staff at [email protected].