SFX’s Pr Nightmare After it Strands Thousands of Wet, Tired, Attendees Trying To Get Home.
Mother Nature has not been kind to Electronic Dance Music festivals in North America this year. Earlier this year in Canada, festivals were cancelled due to high winds, heavy rain and lightning, now the crown jewel of SFX TommorrowWorld music festival was caught unprepared with devastating consequences.
Day 2 of Tomorrow World saw the festival hit by a heavy rain that turned the usually picturesque Chattahoochee Hills, into a mud-bog. After the last song of Hardwell’s set had played on day 2 happy revellers proceeded en mass to the designated pick-up and drop off locations to catch a catch shuttle or cab only to find that their wasn’t any shuttles or cabs waiting. The reason for this was organizers instructed security to stop letting shuttle buses, cabs and Uber into or near the venue. Thus stranding tens of thousands of cold, tired and muddy patrons till the early morning hours. Most gave up and tried to find a dry spot to crash. A few brave souls trekked five to ten miles to make it far enough away from the soggy mud bogged farmland roughly located 30 miles south-west of Atlanta.
This disastrous situation, caused by Mother Nature was amplified hundred fold by the event organizers’ poor planning and execution for this as a possible eventuality. Its not like TomorrowWorld didn’t have a chance to take precautions and/or preemptive measures they did, they chose not to because it would affect their bottom line. It should also be noted that Uber, was a sponsor and that there have been unconfirmed reports of surge pricing reaching upwards of 400 percent during the nights chaos.
For the lucky few who managed to get out in the early stages shuttles, transit and cars were getting stuck, so the passengers hopped out and worked together to get the vehicles unstuck.
After monitoring the savage beating that TomorrowWorld was taking from patrons and the media regarding the previous evenings disastrous turn of events. And with concerns that day three could see a repeat scenario or it could escalate even worse, organizers choose to cancel the event to commuting patrons, meaning only the 50,000 or so attendees nestled in the dreamville campgrounds would be able to enjoy final days performances. The projected attendance for day 3 was expected to be around 200,000.
The attendee’s of TomorrowWorld have continued their savaging of SFX in regards to their handling of the three event. Social media is and has been abuzz since friday evening. Biggest mistake a promoter or company can make in the world these days is treating their patrons like crap and expecting them to take it. In today’s day and age with so many options out there, you have to be so full of hubris or mentally deficient, to think people will not let their voice be heard. One attendee is apparently a lawyer and is looking at the possibility of bringing a class action lawsuit.
SFX the company that owns electronic music hotspot beatport, as well as many entertainment entities most notably TomorrowWorld is now the middle of a perfect storm. Two years ago, it was valued at almost a billion dollars and was seen as Live Nation biggest rival in the electronic music world. Now fast-forward and the company is in free-fall, its barely worth 1/100 of LiveNation’s total valuation and may be end up in a fire sale, or parted out to the highest bidder. During this time Live Nation has also dissolved it Electronic Nation brand.
TomorrowWorld 2015 may be the death knell for SFX and Robert Sillerman.