This past weekend was the 2021 edition of Elements Festival in Lakewood Pennsylvania, and according to social media, it did not go very well.
There were many disgruntled reports, most of which were surrounding arrival and camping. Many attendees mentioned waits of up to 16 hours just to get inside. These grievances were also shared by performers of the festival who mostly received the same treatment as GA attendees.
On top of the long waits, attendees were forced to remove their camping equipment from their cars, carry it upwards of half a mile, load it onto Penske trucks and then ride to the campgrounds in busses. According to reports, the parking lots were pitch dark and had no one directing campers towards the transportation.
In many camping festivals, attendees are at least allowed to enter and exit in their cars and unload directly into the campsite.
In the midst of this stressful situation, social posts and comments claimed staff were of little to no help if they could be found at all, the bathrooms were horrendous, and the event ran out of food and water.
Many attendees apparently left early to avoid a similar experience upon exiting, and many cars were stuck in the mud. There are photos of a tractor pulling cars out of the mud. According to social media posts, the tractor belonged to locals of the venue not the festival itself.
The locals were not paid to help either. They volunteered to help attendees escape a dire situation.
On Saturday, September 4, Elements put out an apology and beckoned attendees to continue arriving. View it below.
There is much talk of a class action lawsuit circling around social media as well, but such discussion brings up a question. At what point is the festival to blame?
Hurricane Ida had just crossed the region, hammering the festival site with rain and high winds. This is a wooded area so it’s not surprising mud and other logistical challenges to ingress came as a result of extreme precipitation.
Such a battle with rain and wind does not absolve the festival, though. Bonnaroo recently faced extreme weather and cancelled the event day of because of it. Perhaps Elements should have done the same or at least made an assessment of the grounds before people started arriving.
What us your opinion of accountability here? Have you ever attended an event with similar logistical challenges and still had a great time?
Featured image provided by Elements Festival