In the aftermath of Elements Festival 2021, a Pennsylvania EDM festival compared by many attendees to the disastrous Fyre Festival of 2017, organizers have issued an apology.
Reports from angry ticket-holders detailing 16-hour wait times and "abhorrent" restrooms covered in feces—among other distressing allegations—marred the festival shortly after its launch over Labor Day Weekend. After attributing the logistical issues to the impact of Hurricane Ida on the morning of Saturday, September 4th, organizers have now doubled down and stated that COVID-19 played a role.
"We recognize that some of you endured extraordinary wait times and discomfort getting into the festival on Friday. We apologize for these logistical issues and the disappointments they caused," the statement reads. "There was significant damage to our parking lots from Hurricane Ida, which led to major delays into the festival. More delays were caused by precautions developed as a result of the hurricane. We were forced to change the location of parking lots and check-in spaces due to remaining flooding issues on Friday."
"The aftermath of the hurricane and the long-lasting repercussions of COVID-19 exacerbated common festival issues, including some long food and water lines and restroom cleanliness," the statement continues. "We wanted all attendees onsite to have the best experience of all time, and we will work hard to improve."
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The team behind Elements have set up an email address for ticket-holders to air their grievances, the announcement reads. While they maintain they will "respond to every email" they receive, the statement does not mention refunds.
According to the Elements homepage, tickets were to be refundable if it was cancelled due to COVID-19 government restrictions. However, the festival's FAQ site notes, "There are no refunds."
You can read the full statement below.