Simply days earlier than Limp Bizkit, Rick Ross, and Papa Roach had been set to take the stage, one among New Jersey’s most iconic music festivals imploded in spectacular style on Friday after its organizer was accused of hoodwinking and cyberbullying fed-up followers.
Bamboozle, based in 2002 by John D’Esposito, held sold-out festivals within the Backyard State for 10 years, that includes acts like Bon Jovi and the Foo Fighters, till a dispute between organizers in 2012 put it on ice.
This 12 months was purported to be an enormous comeback—however cracks began to look from the get-go.
When dear “early fowl” tickets first went on sale, D’Esposito inspired followers to purchase early, claiming that ticket costs would soar as extra huge names had been introduced. “The lineup is stacked,” he promised on his Instagram.
However that by no means materialized, with subsequent bulletins falling flat and guarantees of different big-name artists evaporating. Moderately than getting costlier, ticket costs fell.
Followers who’d paid almost $400 for three-day passes complained about false promoting and demanded refunds, going as far as to begin an Instagram web page referred to as Scamboozle that mentioned its intention was to “expose the fraud that’s Bamboozle Competition” and assist prospects get refunds.
However D’Esposito solely dug in, blocking or cyberbullying individuals who complained on-line, and hurling insults like “jackass,” “dork,” “donkey” and “f’n clowns.” (D’Esposito insisted to the Philadelphia Inquirer that it was “tongue in cheek.”)
When one individual referred to as a lackluster line-up announcement “fucking trash,” Bamboozle’s official Instagram web page replied, “Noooo. Nooo. UR.”
When one other referred to as the entire ordeal “horrible,” the competition replied, “I do know you’re however what am I. Have a look at your self. Your arguing a few competition nobody desires you at clown!”
By final month, D’Esposito admitted to NJ.com that he’d offered simply 6,000 tickets regardless of earlier strategies that it was nearer to 50,000.
Then the dying knell got here on Friday when Atlantic Metropolis officers mentioned they’d not be issuing permits for the occasion after organizers did not pay licensing and facility charges, and blew by way of deadlines to offer required paperwork like insurance coverage certificates, and emergency evacuation and medical plans.
“There was an ongoing concern that we weren’t getting the required paperwork from competition organizers in a well timed method,” Atlantic Metropolis Enterprise Administrator Anthony Swan mentioned in an announcement. “We requested for this info months prematurely to guard the town and the taxpayers of Atlantic Metropolis. The occasion was quick approaching, and these points had been nonetheless unresolved.”
Competition organizers posted a quick assertion on their web site Friday, acknowledging that the occasion was canceled.
“After intensive discussions, we have now made the heartbreaking choice to cancel Bamboozle 2023,” the assertion learn. “An unbelievable period of time, dedication, ardour and exhausting work was invested into making this comeback successful. We admire everybody who supported this competition. Refunds must be requested at level of buy.”
It has left many out of pocket, together with one hashish vendor who mentioned he forked over $10,000 for a sales space and was struggling to come up with anybody to rearrange a refund. “I personal one small CBD retailer in North Carolina, and $10,000 will completely break me,” Nick Richetti instructed the Press of Atlantic Metropolis.
Others flooded the Scamboozle web page to share particulars of their determined, however unsuccessful, makes an attempt to get refunds.
“Bamboozle was dwelling to me once I was a child. It was in my yard, and I used to be in highschool pondering I used to be doing the best sh*t on this planet,” one ticketholder wrote. “I bought tickets for [me and my girlfriend] to revel within the nostalgia of our first instances collectively, in addition to all these healthful instances again in highschool… My anniversary weekend with my liked one is shaping as much as be an enormous failure, with a $1000 price ticket on it.”