It’s Monday, and I am here to tell you all about my unfortunate weekend. This past Saturday, October 7th, I went to the 2nd Annual Edgewood Atlanta Mac N’ Cheese Festival. I was waiting in anticipation for this festival for weeks! I bought my ticket in advance from HandpickedATL and even started collaborating with a videographer to make a dope VLOG of the festival. I was prepared to devour some ooey-gooey Mac N’ Cheese.
Aside from the gloomy weather, I did not think twice that something at the festival could go wrong? I arrived to the festival at 2 o’clock in the afternoon and immediately got in line for some lemonade. I observed the crowd and began to wonder “Why are all the Mac N’ Cheese lines so dead?” It was not until after I purchased my lemonade that I found out that ALL of the vendors ran out of mac n’ cheese! I could not believe that was actually happening! I purchased a ticket that GUARANTEED UNLIMITED MAC N’ CHEESE, yet I did not receive not one sample! I approached every single vendor’s stand and saw that each vendor brought only 1-3 trays of mac n’ cheese, expecting to feed a SOLD OUT crowd for 6 hours. When I asked vendors if they were going to bring in more mac n’ cheese, they all said no and continued to close down their stands.
I understand that the proceeds of the festival were going towards charity, but how could a festival promise guests unlimited mac n’cheese and then run out? How could vendors underestimate their supply of mac n’ cheese for a sold out festival? I felt more like I was at the Mac N’ Cheap Festival! I felt scammed.
My open complaints about the failure of the festival did not seem to help the authorities see where they were wrong either. After referring to the festival as the “Mac N’ Cheap Festival” on my Instagram, I received the most RUDE AND UNPROFESSIONAL response from their social media rep. Rather than asking how the organizers could have made my experience better, their social media representative suggested I simply not come again.
After commenting on my post, the Edgewood ATL Mac N’ Cheese Festival (@atlmacfest) blocked my Instagram page. I immediately responded from my personal page and informed them about what their festival lacked. It is unfair for guests to attend a festival and not benefit from what their purchase promised. The organizers of this event need to take account of their faults. Make sure your vendors are supplied to serve attendees and address your customers issues!
It was not just me who was upset about this issue, but I encountered several other attendees who felt the same.
Sydney said ” I got here around 2 and was only able to get 2 samples. This event was pretty disappointing and I would like a refund.”
Riley said “The festival and vendors were disorganized. The one sample of mac n’ cheese I got was mediocre.”
Krishna said “This festival was poorly executed. I got here at 1:30 and vendors were already starting to run out of mac n’ cheese. Everyone knew this was a sold out event, the vendors should have been prepared.”
Those who were lucky enough to receive mac n’ cheese were quite upset with the lack of variety for vegetarian options. There were 8 vendors and only 4 vendors served vegetarian mac n’ cheese. As most of my readers may know, I do not eat pork so if I did receive my share of mac, then I would have only been limited to 4 vendors. I find it inconsiderate to limit those who cannot eat meat, have allergies, or are vegetarians to only 4 vendors. The organization should have found this as an opportunity to embrace community development by being inclusive to those who eat vegetarian options and finding more vegetarian vendors.
Despite all of the frustration I had towards this scam called a “festival,” the one aspect of this event that brought some positivity was the cranberry-lavender lemonade I bought from Lemonade Mixology. This lemonade stand was the kindest vendor at the festival and they DID NOT RUN OUT OF LEMONADE! Unlike the cheap vendors who ran out of mac n’ cheese, the owner and employees of Lemonade Mixology were thrilled to serve customers. Lemonade Mixology makes fresh lemonade in your face! They do not have their own shop, but they do pop up at food festivals! Be sure to check out Lemonade Mixology and seriously hire them for your next event or festival, they’re amazing!
A part of me is glad that I had this poor experience. It showed me that the Atlanta community really does need a lot more development, and not just through infrastructure, but rather character development. I will not be returning to the Edgewood Atlanta Mac N’ Cheese Festival next year. The response I received was completely discourteous and confirms their inefficiency as an organization.