Posted: Mar 16, 2013 5:38 PM
Updated: Mar 17, 2013 3:07 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - Beach Fest 2013, at Cole Park, came to an abrupt end this afternoon and is now cancelled for the rest of the weekend. Many of the bands who were scheduled to play are even calling the event a scam.
It was promoted as a family friendly alternative to spring break, but today security walked off the job, beer vendors folded up their tents and people were told to leave.
We talked to the organizer over the phone, who said she's sorry, but didn't say why the event ended. A city park's employee told us the issue was money.
"They had actually hired off duty police officers and apparently they had not been paid," she said. "When the off duty officers decided to leave, they made the determination that it needed to be shut down due to the nature of the event."
After organizers cancelled the event, they had a hard time shutting down the festival, and called on-duty police officers to help.
"They shut down the stage, too many technical problems," said one man at the event. "I'm just back here running things, I don't know what's going on."
The organizer, Beth Guarneri, posted on her Facebook page, about three hours after the event unexpectedly closed down writing:
"It's my understanding that Beach Fest has been completely cancelled. We are working on it and trying to take care of all the issues. I do apologize. We are dealing with unforeseen issues."
But that isn't a good enough explanation for the 80 bands who paid an application fee between $25 and $150 to be part of Beach Fest.
On band member said he was told the application money would go towards security and a headline act, but it seems that didn't happen.
"We're pretty disappointed. We've been looking forward to this for months and promoting it on Facebook," said one band member.
Other band members also called our station angry about what happened at Beach Fest. They said it was an unorganized mess.
The stage at McGee Beach was sponsored by a local attorney, and was not shut down. It's our understanding that everyone on that side of the music festival did get paid.
Do you have a tip, information about a breaking news story, or a story idea for 6 Investigates? Contact the KRIS 6 News Desk at 361-884-6666 or send us an email.
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