The Not So Great American Food & Music Festival

Last weekend, to celebrate our seventh anniversary, my husband and I got in the car early in the morning and drove down to Foxboro. We had tickets for the Great American Food & Music Festival.

We were looking forward to seeing Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes fame and chowing down on some Buffalo wings from Anchor Bar.

We arrived shortly before noon and parked (it was free — well, came with the ticket). The line had already started to form outside the gates, and everyone was looking forward to what was about to come.

We had been standing there for about 15 minutes when we heard someone talking about cards you needed to buy food inside. “They don’t take cash or debit cards,” he said. So, my husband walked over to an area where you bought cards with preset amounts on them.

Though the back of the card said any remaining balance was property of the company, the sellers guaranteed us that wasn’t the case and we could get a refund of any money.

It wasn’t until 12:30 or 12:35 that the gates opened — they were suppose to open at noon.

And in we went.

It was quickly apparent that this was far from what had been advertised. There were food vendors set up on the sidelines with tables and chairs (maybe 300 chairs) set up in the middle. In one endzone was a stage, and in the other was a beer vendor.

I started looking for the Anchor Bar tent. Pizzeria Uno, The Rooms from Portland, All Star Sandwich Bar in Cambridge. No Anchor Bar. In fact, not many of the promised vendors were there. In fact, though the website has since disappeared, I’d be willing to bet half of the vendors listed that day as being there were not being there. And the ones that were were local so there wasn’t a lot of point to pay $42 a ticket to eat their food in the sun with no music.

The no music part. On the schedule it listed three stages.

However, the day of, there was one stage and one location where Eepy Bird did its thing.

And it wasn’t until well after Duff Goldman took the stage that these started being distributed:

For anyone who came late and thought they were going to get to see their act take the stage a second time; or for those of us who came early with intentions of seeing some things and then leaving, the entire scheduled was changed.

My husband and I talked about it. Either we could leave and be upset that we paid a whole heck of a lot of money for nothing, or we could see on the 50 yard line and enjoy each others company. We did the latter, figuring we won’t be on the 50 yard line for any Patriots games this year.

Still, though, we were completely let down.

We did get to see Duff Goldman and he did answer my question. That was pretty neat. And we did see Paula Deen. But by that point we were so upset it was of little consolation.

Also of note, there was no signage and no one could give you any information about who was performing when or where certain vendors were. The one person who had an answer other than, “I don’t know” told me, “They just didn’t show, nothing we can do about that.”

We spent $90 for the tickets, another $60 for food and left at 8 p.m.

We will not be attending next year, and give warning to anyone who plans to. It was disappointing to us, and unless they make some MAJOR changes for future events, it will be a disappointment to others, too.

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2 responses to “The Not So Great American Food & Music Festival

  1. Kara,
    Sorry that your expreience was not a good one. Our experience of this entire event has been anything but great. We have yet to collect on our expenses which total more than 12k. I guess i’m writing because all the reviews I see is talks about much money the venders made and I can tell you that is far from accuarte. I hope you at least enjoyed the some of the food you got to sample. We gave away gallon jugs of BBQ sauce and 10 lb packages of meat to people prior to sending the rest of the food (probaly around 800 lbs to a local food bank). Anyway, I imagine that you won’t have to worry about the next GAFMF because I doubt there will be any more. I recommend coming down to Louisiana as we have plenty of great festivals.

    Best,
    Greg

  2. Greg, I can’t imagine that you made any money on that event. Between the travel, cost of food and how few people there, I’m guessing you lost money. When I’m down in LA, I’ll be sure to look you up.
    Kara

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