Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include a statement from Jorge Garcia and an updated statement from Cameron County Parks.
HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Organizers of a beach festival on South Padre Island are under fire after putting on a “disorganized” event and failing to deliver promised performances.
Thousands who attended the Sol Beach Festival on Saturday evening are outraged and demanding ticket refunds after the concert that should have featured Puerto Rican rapper, Myke Towers, turned out to be a flop.
Though Myke Towers and all the artists were at the event, no one was able to perform due to power outages caused by inadequate generators.
The event was scheduled to start at 8 p.m. in an Isla Blanca Park parking lot and promised VIP sections and tables, several bars, and food trucks.
ValleyCentral spoke to several attendees who say the event was “disorganized,” a “horrible experience,” and a “waste of time and money.”
They all say that after waiting several hours in line to enter the event, they found that not only was the event not as advertised, but the artists never came out to perform.
Videos for the concert sent to ValleyCentral show a disgruntled crowd standing in the dark, and in some cases throwing drinks and knocking down the railing.
Much of the frustration stemmed from a lack of communication between the event organizers and the crowd after the power repeatedly went out.
The only communication received was from a DJ promising that the power would be restored, however, after over two hours of waiting, attendees say they were told to leave without explanation.
Many who paid extra for VIP tickets waited longer in line than those who bought General Admission.
“We waited in line for three hours, at first there was some artists singing but seems like the lights and music went out, after that nobody came out again. We finally got in around 11:30 and once we were in everyone was everywhere, no areas were assigned, nobody performed nothing at all, we waited until cops showed up and told everyone to leave,” said Lyseth Mayorga Serna, who drove from Houston to SPI for the event.
Cameron County Parks Director Joe Vega said AARM Business Group run by father and son, George and Jorge Garcia, were the organizers who approached the county about hosting a show along the beach. He says this was the first show of its kind held at Isla Blanca.
“We entered into an agreement with them to have this event and we thought it was going to be a great event. They did have a wonderful setup, but unfortunately, it ended up not happening,” said Vega.
The Cameron County Parks and Recreation released a statement saying that any issues with ticket refunds or reimbursements and any other concerns should be directed to AARM Business Group.
GG Promotions, which is also affiliated with the Garcias, is who many are saying is responsible for the way the concert turned out.
A separate show promoter, Ram de la Cruz, says that part of the issues was due to a lack of staff at the entrances and generators that could not provide enough power. Though he and his staff were only hired to do marketing and ticket sales, he says some of his people, including artists who were scheduled to perform, had to help with the setup right before the concert was supposed to start.
“It was just a big mess.” said de la Cruz. “I just know the artists were there; every one that needed to be there was there, they just didn’t have the staff needed to set up or the equipment… It was just poorly organized by these guys.”
Cruz says many have approached him about refunds, but he says Garcia is responsible for the show and for the refunds, and he has not heard from Garcia since Saturday morning.
On Monday evening Garcia and his family put out a statement on social media saying that tickets to the event are non-refundable “but the promoter will ask the artists to return and finish the event at a later date and will honor any tickets previously sold… if the artists agree.”
Garcia also addressed the generator failure saying that it “was at no fault of the promotor who paid for the generators and staging specified by the artists.”