Beer festival returning to BofA Stadium in May with last year’s issues fixed, organizers promise

 Beer festival returning to BofA Stadium in May with last year’s issues fixed, organizers promise

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — This year will be different. That’s the promise from organizers of the Untappd Beer Festival after last year’s debut devolved into a mess of bad weather and poor planning — up to and including flimsy sampling cups prone to breaking.

Last year, in late February, Wilmington-based Untappd and the Carolina Panthers announced a partnership to start a beer festival and have it at Bank of America Stadium. Held on May 4, and with ticket sales of 12,500, organizers left many ticket-buyers stuck outside during a lightning storm, had no backup plan when tasting cups began cracking and endured a flood of criticism on social media from unhappy attendees.

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They apologized publicly. Untappd refunded $115,000 to unhappy customers — some of whom never made it inside the stadium because of storm-caused delays — while sending out $10,000 worth of complimentary beer glasses as a goodwill gesture.

Untappd president and COO Trace Smith, during a recent interview with CBJ, acknowledged the failures of the first festival and vowed to make everyone attending happy when the event returns to BofA Stadium on May 16.

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