The 1st Annual LA Street Food Festival was held yesterday, Sat, Feb 13th. Estimates were that as many as 15,000 people showed up, and if that was the case, about 14,000 went home unhappy. Unless you had a media pass that got you in an hour earlier, chances are you waited at least an hour to get in the only entrance (!) and waited another 1-2 hours for some of the more popular trucks. Even people who paid $60 for VIP tickets were disappointed.
Here’s some of the comments from Eating LA blog:
“It’s really a shame that the events success was it’s biggest failure. Everything we ate was good, some things great (pork belly bun from flying pig—oh my) but I would have gladly traded my day back for the $60 spent on VIP tickets.”
“I got there around 11:30, good thing for the media pass!, and it was packed already. It was nice to see this turn out but that was it’s biggest failure. That had to be the suckiest VIP lounge ever.”
“biggest waste of time i’ve ever taken part in, stood in line for 3 hours and ate nothing, what a joke of planning this was.”
“judging by the amount of completely pissed off people wandering all over downtown emptying every restaurant in a 10 block radius of the event i’d say there area lot of people that didn’t think too positively of this event. we tried to eat at 5 different places in downtown and there are hour waits everywhere from people that couldn’t get into the festival. was this thing a total epic failure or what?”
“HORRIBLY planned! As with many others – there was no way we were going to wait in the longest line I have ever seen in my life only to predictably wait in line for each truck. Great idea for a festival.. But one entrance?? It was a terrible disappointment.. Hopefully someone with one day of event planning experience will pick up this event and do it right next time.”
There were many more comments like this, but you get the idea. While it was a good thing that so many people wanted to try these great food trucks, festivals are like computers; wait for at least version 1.2 before trying it out. The organizers of the L.A Street Food Festival still have a lot to learn about running festivals.
One thing’s for sure – the gourmet food truck phenomena has moved from the fringes squarely into the mainstream.