CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Severe weather forced people off the field at Bank of America Stadium on Saturday afternoon and packed into the concourse during the inaugural Untappd Beer Festival.
Mother Nature was only one of many issues attendees said plagued the event.
The organizers extended the festival by an hour to make up for it, but some complained about a lack of organization and communication.
Many went to social media to voice their distaste for how the festival was handled.
“It was just an absolute mess,” an attendee, who did not want to be identified, told Channel 9.
The sold-out crowd of more than 10,000 people was overshadowed by a steady stream of complaints on social media platforms.
“But getting beer was crazy,” the festivalgoer said. “I was at the 50-yard line just to get a beer that was in the end zone.”
Some guests said vendors just weren't prepared and many said the souvenir cup broke before getting their first beer.
“We were expecting an actual mug of some sort to hold beer, and they gave us a plastic shot glass,” he said. “In a matter of seconds, it broke.”
Festivalgoers were forced to find shelter in the concourse when the heavy rain and lightning arrived.
“Tough situation, nonetheless, but, I think they handled it poorly,” the man said.
The Carolina Panthers announced in February that the stadium was open for businesses to attract national and entertainment events to Charlotte.
Since Saturday, Untappd issued two different statements in a 24-hour span.
The first announcement acknowledged its mistakes and apologized, and the second promised refunds to paying guests who were turned away.
A local marketing expert said that's the first step in making things right.
“Any sort of credit for the future and just taking responsibility for what went wrong and trying to make it right is a gesture that people do appreciate and realize,” said Mary Mac-Stallings, the agency partner and brand director. “And I think can go a long way."
Cox Media Group