NYC Pizza Festival Turns Into Fyre Festival-Like Scam, Customers Say

Image via Getty

Image via Getty

"It was like the people from Fyre Festival chose to throw a pizza party", quipped Connell Burke about the Pizza Festival, referencing the infamous luxury festival that promised supermodels and Ja Rule and instead delivered disaster relief tents and slices of cheese, and an indefinite stay on a Bahamian island.

Connell Burke told the Gothamist he paid $150 for VIP tickets to celebrate his girlfriend's birthday.

The organizer - a man named Ishmael Osekre, who's got a history of throwing shady food events - is blaming the company he contracted to curate the event space, telling customers Hangry Garden delayed the start "by an hour". Many people have compared the pizza event to the disastrous Fyre Festival, a weekend that was supposed to be packed with luxury and music performances on Great Exuma in the Bahamas, but that ultimately collapsed before it began. A make-up tasting was promised, NBC 4 reported.

Things were apparently so bad that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has opened an inquiry into the event, according to reports.

A spokesman for the office said they were "concerned about the online complaints" they saw following the event and are asking attendees to submit complaints on the Attorney General's Office's website.

Osekre blamed Hangry Garden, the event producer, for the catastrophe. The post claims this is all the pizza they got for their ticket.

The festival was promoted as a celebration of pizza.

"The organizers should be held accountable", they said. I asked them where the vendors were and he said, 'We had trouble finding them so we're ordering pizza to the venue.' I was like are you kidding me?

So, money was handed over and when the big day arrived, there was just a load of paper plates, polyester table cloths, and tiny pizza slices.

"We made a decision to do both on the same weekend 'cause of last week's flooding in Houston and just the rains and everything", Osekre explained in a call to Metro last week after not replying to e-mailed requests for a full vendor list in the past two weeks.

For those who stuck it out, eventually slivers of a handful of pizzas and "warm red wine that tasted like ass" were distributed.

"We'd never worked with these guys before but we saw the response they got on Facebook, which was tremendous, 30,000 interested people", Asgari told Gothamist. He pulled out the morning of the event when he hadn't been paid. But the tickets weren't cheap if you wanted to go for the whole event, costing a whopping $75 (£52). Over 30,000 people said they'd be attending. "There is no way they did not know they were going to come up criminally short of what was promised several days before the event".

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