Festival fiasco at Forever Never Land

Fest-coverWritten by Pete Mauch //

Do you think putting on a music festival is a dream job? You’ll think twice after reading this cautionary tale and nightmare situation in Central California.

Attendees at the inaugural Forever Never Land festival September 13th-14th in Avila Beach, Calif., were promised fun-filled activities like laser tag, foam parties and water slides, but they had quite the eye-opener when they showed up to only a beach volleyball court.

We all know that these activities just add to the overall atmosphere of a music festival and that music is the main reason we flock to many of them all over the country. Well, Forever Never Land also completely blew it in the musical department.

Big-name acts like Sublime with Rome and A-Trak were nowhere to be found, and people were straight-up pissed off. Almost all of the headliners for the weekend were completely dropped the day before the festival due to a lack of ticket sales, and the County of San Luis Obispo capped Forever Never Land at 3,000 attendees when the festival’s promoters wanted 10,000.

Instead of seeing great acts that were promised, fans had to endure through unknown DJs and Everclear, perhaps the second-most loathed band of the past two decades after Nickleback. The festival did try to remedy the situation by passing out free alcoholic drink tickets (it was “California’s only 21+ music and fun festival”), but that is just not going to cut it for music lovers. To top it off, the festival’s website was about as minimalist as the festival ended up being. So, basically, imagine what would happen if “Waynestock” didn’t work out.

A Facebook page devoted to suing the promoter for a refund has been gathering momentum, and I think these guys have a solid argument.

It is defrauding to promote an event while allegedly knowing that the artists on your bill will not be performing (Forever Never Land was still promoting the performers the day before it got underway). As small festivals are popping up more than Bill Murray at random weddings and kickball games, this issue will become more commonplace going forward.

Should festivalgoers consider it a risk to their wallets when buying a ticket to a new, small festival? This is why festival pros quickly cancel an event if ticket sales aren’t happening, much like Sasquatch! did with their additional weekend earlier this year.

What do you think?


  1. I don’t trust a festival when the headliner is a band that died almost 20 years ago.

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