Great American Food and Music Fest Not So Great


SAN FRANCISCO (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Serious Eats and The Agency Group have drawn some fire after a last weekend's Great American Food and Music Fest came off the rails. The event, staged at the Shoreline Amphitheater, was plagued by long lines, food and beverage shortages and serious technical glitches that led the San Jose Mercury News to describe the event as a "fiasco."

In the post-mortem, the Agency Group's Jim Lewi, one of the event's producers, is working to get to the bottom of what went wrong.

"I'm taking responsibility for what happened," Lewi said told a the San Fran blog SFFoodist. "At the same time, is there a future for this event? There is no question in my mind."

Many of the problems stemmed from the apparent low interest in the lead-up to the event, which led many vendors to underestimate their staffing and product requirements.

"There didn't seem to be a lot of buzz around town, but then all of a sudden we saw the traffic start to back up." Lewi said.

The event also suffered from technical glitches and the cashless wristband system that was designed to move people through lines quickly went down, followed quickly by the backup system, leaving festival staffers struggling to get an old-fashioned cash system in place.

"By then, there were 1,500 people waiting in the line to get refunds," Lewi added. "How on God's Earth could this possibly have happened?" – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers