Knotfest Iowa Vendor Issues Statement on Two-Hour Wait for Water
This year’s Knotfest in Iowa boasted one of the most stacked lineups of the year. Despite the stellar bill, Knotfest attendees ran into severe issues obtaining water and food at the festival, with some waiting up to two hours to purchase a bottle of water. The company who handled food and water at the festival have now issued a statement apologizing for the mismanagement.
An estimated 30,000 fans came out to Iowa’s National Balloon Classic Field to see Slipknot, Megadeth, Lamb of God, Gojira and more over the weekend. The venue didn’t allow fans to bring refillable water bottles into the festival grounds, and a lack of vendors along with understaffing issues caused some fans to become severely dehydrated.
According to various Knotfest concertgoers, some witnessed fans faint from dehydration or pay upwards of $20 for a single bottle or can of water from other attendees. Fans also chanted “water, water” while waiting in gigantic lines on a sunny, cloudless day. Even when exiting the festival, fans had to wait in an hour-long line just to leave the festival grounds. [via MetalSucks]
"There were no signs showing where refillable water stations were and I went back and looked on the map," Knotfest attendee Mary Capron told KCCI News. "They didn't even have it marked on the map." "It was not spread out," she continued. "Many festivals that we went to in the past, you had one stage on one end, one stage on the other and the food and beverages were spread out all over the place. I mean, (at Knotfest) you were in a line and you didn't even know what you were standing in line for."
Weekend Heat, Water Woes Leave Some Knotfest Attendees Hot and Bothered
BEST Concessions and Catering, the vendors for Knotfest, explained their issues with staffing during the festival day:
First and foremost, BEST Concessions and Catering would like to apologize to all those who were affected by the events at Saturday’s Knotfest. As the concessionaire and head of food vendors for this year’s Knotfest in Iowa and an experienced concert concessionaire, we went into the event with a staff we expected would be able to accommodate Knotfest. However, a few days before the festival, our staff dwindled. At that point, we regrouped and hired additional help and unfortunately on the day of the event, we saw a huge drop in staff. As many others in the hospitality industry have seen, staffing has been difficult with the ongoing pandemic. With more than 30 years of experience in hospitality this was an unprecedented occurrence and as a company we will work hard to prevent situations like this from arising again. We are again very sorry for the experience some concertgoers had and apologize to everyone who encountered long lines and were unable to access concessions.
Mammoth Productions also responded to mismanagement criticism with a statement:
In preparation for this inaugural event and to ensure a positive experience at Knotfest Iowa, Mammoth Productions engaged one of Iowa’s largest concessionaires (BEST Concessions and Catering with over 30 years of experience and who manage many large events and concerts). We strive for excellence in all aspects of events and acknowledge that this was lacking in certain aspects at Knotfest Iowa and we are deeply disappointed by what happened. This is not the standard we hold ourselves to and we will do everything to ensure that situations like this will not happen again.
The vending issue should not reflect negatively on Knotfest, Slipknot or their team. Slipknot and the Knotfest team did a phenomenal job bringing an exceptional entertainment experience and we value our partnership. We are sincerely sorry that the logistical issues we experienced marred the exceptional performances of the artists as well as the experience of their fans.
We were so pleased and honored that we were able to bring such a popular event to Iowa as we continue to navigate through a worldwide pandemic. The event not only brought a great day of entertainment, but also employed thousands of locals in the process. Again, we apologize to the fans for our shortcomings and promise to do better in the future.
See a collection of tweets from disgruntled Knotfest fans below.