More Horror Stories From the Chattanooga Taco & Tequila Festival

Yesterday I reported on the Facebook riot that ensued after some Nashville con-artists *allegedly* rolled into town and scammed a bunch of innocent Chattanoogans with the promise of delicious tacos.  Lying is wrong under any circumstances, but it’s especially heinous to lie about tacos.  And now the event’s organizer, Acklen Park Productions, is facing mounting criticism from people who feel they were swindled.

Adding insult to injury, ticket-holders claim Acklen Park Productions then attempted to censor their negative feedback by closing discussions and deleting comments on their SocMe.  With similar taco festivals scams planned for other nearby cities, they probably want to stem the flow of bad press.  Therefore, I plan to do my best to counter their efforts by publishing angry letters from Chattanoogans who feel they were scammed by Acklen Park Productions.

I know you don’t.  But it’s the only way to heal.


Yesterday I sent out a call for first-hand accounts of the Taco & Tequila Debacle, and I quickly received two very detailed replies.  The first comes from Justin Stephens:

“By far the worst food festival my wife and I have ever been too, especially with the $10 parking fee.  We went at 2:30, my wife decided to try the pitiful chicken taco from the uhaul truck.  We then couldn’t convince ourselves to stand in a line of well over 50 people for mixed margaritas.  At this point we decided to just get some modello beer with the remaining tokens since there was no line, except there was no modello, it was sold out.  We ended up handing out the remaining tokens by 2:45 and left.  This entire event was a scam.  We would have posted on their Facebook page but noticed last night that they were deleting all the negative comments, and only leaving the positive ones.  I ran across your blog earlier today and thought I would share our experience.”

Ouch.  That sure sounds like a scam to me.  But don’t take Jeremy’s word for it.  Also consider the opinion of Chattanooga resident and taco enthusiast Cathy Pettyjohn:

“This was absolutely a scam. It was in no way a festival. It was a joke. So many people where griping about how bad it was. The only reason my boyfriend and I stayed , was because I paid $44 plus $10 to park, and I was not leaving there without something. That something was a terrible watered down margarita, about 6 ounces, and 2 micro size tacos. Nothing that was  advertised was there. Someone made a huge profit , because they had no money in the “festival”. I am contacting my bank tomorrow to try and get a refund. I’ll never attend a festival at the pavilion again, I’ll just spend my money on a nice dinner!”

The event was heavily promoted by local media, despite similar controversies at other taco festivals hosted by Acklen Park Productions.  Hopefully the outpouring of criticism will cause city leaders to think twice about Acklen Park Production’s upcoming paper lantern festival, in which they plan to sail hundreds of pieces of flaming garbage into Chattanooga’s sky.

But until then, I’m still eager to hear more first-hand accounts of the Taco & Tequila Shit Show.  Did anyone actually have a good time there?  If so, I’d like to hear from you too.