MADISON, Wisconsin – Event planners with Breese Stevens Field in Madison say they are investigating an upcoming taco festival that has sparked complaints in several cities it has visited in recent weeks.
The event, billed as a festival featuring suppliers of local tacos as well as margaritas and other drinks, drew complaints in Buffalo, Des Moines, Fargo and other cities visited. Complaints are mostly about customers who don’t get what they paid for or who are disappointed with the quality of the food provided.
With the festival now only 10 days away, growing concerns online are worrying hosts as well.
Big Top Events, the company responsible for many of the games, concerts and fairs at Breese Stevens, says they are looking at their options.
“Over the past week we have had concerns about past events with this promoter, ”said Conor Coloia, Chief Operating Officer of Big Top. “Since then we’ve kind of investigated, done due diligence and made sure to avoid that at Breese Stevens Field. ”
Coloia says Big Top made a contract with the event’s host, AZ Food Festivals, months ago.
“Our responsibility for this event is to give them use of the pitch, use our ticketing system, and pour some beer, ”he said. “It’s not like one of the events that we have, like a concert, a cheese curd festival, or one of the football games.”
AZ Food Festivals did not respond to a request for comment.
“We have probably booked 500 events,” Coloia said. “I don’t think we’ve ever had an event in our six years of running this facility where it has reached that level of concern. So no. It’s kind of a unicorn compared to what we’re used to.
Coloia says Big Top is working with legal counsel to determine next steps.
“ I think we have a long history of organizing great events here at Breese Stevens Field, ”he said. “People value their time here. We will make sure one way or another that we maintain this. We are not going to let this potential event tarnish what we are doing here.
While he’s not sure what happens next, Coloia says anyone involved in advance can request a refund.
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