It’s really hard to screw up pizza. Especially in New York. But somehow, a food event centered around the very simple, and usually delicious, dish completely botched it. The NYC Pizza Festival was held over the weekend in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood. Attendees paid between $36 and $69 for what was advertised as “unlimited pizza samples,” beer, and entertainment. What they actually got was… well, we’re not even sure what to call it. People shared photos of what looks like mini pizza snacks for kids that you’d find in the frozen aisle in a grocery store.
One attendee shared a photo on Facebook and wrote, “We came up all the way from DC and all we got was this slice.”
Check out these beauties:
And, yes, those are paper plates. Like the kind you’d see at a children’s birthday party. Maybe they were trying to make the slivers of pizza appear bigger?
On Saturday night, the event organizers posted to the Facebook event page to warn about delays in pizza deliveries. (Again, this is New York. And it’s pizza.) Their way of dealing with the shortage of pizza was apparently cutting the pizzas that had arrived into tiny slices.
The people who received these pizza samples were the “lucky” ones. Others complained on the Facebook page that no pizza was even available when they showed up.
The event display consisted of a bunch of white tents with a lone DJ and…not much else.
The comments on the event’s Facebook event page are pretty epic, with most people asking for their money back and several calling the festival a scam. There’s a Facebook page set up for people trying to get refunds: Pizza Festival Scam Victims. It reminded some people of another instance of false advertising for an overpriced event: Fyre Festival.
One man who attended the New York City Pizza Festival and paid around $150 for two VIP tickets told Gothamist, “It was like the people from Fyre Festival decided to throw a pizza party.”
It looks like people who stopped by the event in a place called Hangry Garden (yep) will be issued refunds, according to an attendee who shared a conversation that he had with the event organizers on Facebook.
Hopefully, the attendees ate some actual NYC pizza after the event. And agreed never to pay for food festivals with VIP sections ever again.
Update 3:58pm CT, Sept. 12: The New York attorney general’s office has “opened an inquiry” into the NYC Pizza Festival over complaints its seen online, NPR reports.