Chattanooga Taco & Tequila Festival: an Abortion of Justice

It was supposed to be a glorious riverfront celebration of fine food and drink.  Instead, the Chattanooga Taco & Tequila Festival allegedly devolved into a shameful display of mismanagement and misleading marketing.  Now many Chattanoogans are demanding a refund from what they have labeled a scam.

The event was produced by Acklen Park Productions, a Nashville company that specialized in hot air balloon festivals before branching out into the world of tacos, bacon and paper lantern festivals.  Despite the promise of a variety of tacos, drinks and live music (at $20-30 per person) attendees were stymied by a lack of vendors, extremely long lines, and a short supply of tacos that ran out long before the event’s scheduled end.  The advertised “live music” was nothing more than one solo acoustic act.

Irate ticket-holders quickly took to SocMe to vent their rage at the event’s planners.  “Who is excited about the Chattanooga Tacos & Tequila!!!!” their official Facebook account asked without a question mark.  They were met with a torrent of pissed off replies like these:


One deliciously snarky attendee mocked this pathetic excuse for a selfie-station — which if you can believe it, was actually hyped in the event’s marketing!


Attendees were promised a variety of tacos from a range of hip taco trucks and local vendors.  But according to reports from the scene the only truck present was this sad U-Haul:


According to speculation among angry Chattanoogans, the company was working to scrub angry comments from SocMe warning people not to come.  I have no way to independently verify that information because I’m a mom/lifestyle blog, not an actual newspaper.  But let’s face it, the relentlessly up-with-Chattanooga bias of local media means no legit news source would ever write about this topic anyways.

So will the disastrous abortion of justice known as the Chattanooga Taco & Tequila Festival affect Acklen Park Productions attempts to stage other events in town?  From Social Media accounts, it seems as if Chattanooga’s Southside was on the verge of devolving into a Lord of the Flies-esque consumer dystopia.  If you attended the event, let me know about your experience.  Was it really Chattanooga’s Fyre Festival?  Or were a few vocal critics misrepresenting the true experience?

According to a Google search of the terms “Acklen Park Productions” and “scam,” this wouldn’t be the first time one of their taco festivals left a foul taste in a city’s mouth.  I’m just thankful that my oldest son, Salinger, accidentally ate a slice of non-gluten-free pizza that day  and irritated his bowels so badly that we couldn’t leave the house.  Otherwise, we probably would have ended up at the Taco Fest too!