I, my better half, and a few friends recently attended an event called “Shake Your Patty Burger and Milkshake” food festival. It was to be ‘the best burger joints and shake-makers in London’ with guest DJs and booze to make it a proper adult day out. Run by FatBoiz Dinner Club, the venue for this food festival was to be Studio 338 on the Greenwich Peninsula. We got tickets on the second release having been told by the promoters that there would be the best burger and milkshake joints in London. We paid £13 each for this and thought that wasn’t a bad deal. We were, as I’m sure anyone who knows us will know, very excited.
Studio 338, I imagine, with the right event could be quite a nice venue. Unfortunately on this occasion it wasn’t right. Normally a nightclub style venue, it has recently been refurbed following a fire on the site and now has a garden area. I’ve seen pictures of club nights there and they look like they could be a lot of fun.
The closer we got to the date, the less confident we were getting that this hyped food festival was going to be good. The promoters kept promising to release vendor lists and didn’t. Eventually they told us that there would be 5/6 burger vendors including a vendor selling vegan burgers plus milkshake vendors. However they only ever named 1 milkshake vendor. Apparently they’d sold 1500 tickets for the event plus door sales. How are you supposed to feed and water that many people with that small amount of vendors?
On the morning of the food festival, we saw a message saying that one of the burger vendors was not coming because of technical difficulties. Then later on in the morning, the opening time was pushed back by an hour as the ONLY milkshake vendor was running late.
So we get there and try to get in around 1pm. While in the already quite large queue we were handed a voucher each for “a free burger”. There was, to put it mildly, an excessive level of security for this type of event. As we arrived at the front of the queue we had to show our ID, which was scanned into a computer by the onsite first aider. They were doing full pat downs of those entering; the ladies in my group complained to me that they felt as if they had been groped during their searches. They were taking bottles of water, and even chewing gum and packets of sweets off people on the way in.
When we finally made it into the food festival we were disappointed to see that the milkshake vendor still hadn’t arrived. We queued up for our free burgers. I went to the Cheeky Burger counter and got a slider with my voucher. I went for the “Cheeky Hot Daddy-Cheeky Cheese with chunky hot jalapenos jam and for the brave a double dosage of our Hot Daddy chipotle sauce”. It was tasty enough but not really what I was expecting as a freebie. A friend of mine decided to get a full size burger from one of the vendors. That was £10 including chips and after waiting 15 minutes to order had to wait a further 20 minutes for his order to be cooked!!
We were keeping an eye on Facebook for updates from the event and found out that the milkshake provider would now not be coming because of more technical difficulties! To make things worse, the bars had no price lists and were charging £5 for a 330ml bottle of beer! (We later found out that others noticed they were being sold out of date beer).
The festival had obviously been over sold as the burger vendors were totally overrun. They were running out of the free burgers and some, if not most, of them had stopped accepting the burger vouchers. The festival promoters had promised vegan and vegetarian options. The vegan option didn’t exist and the vegetarian option was being cooked on the same grill as the meat!
We were getting fed up of waiting around somewhere with no shade and loud, repetitive, and not really appropriate for this sort of event, music.
As we were thinking of leaving we saw a post from the promoters saying that their “plan b” milkshake vendor was 10 minutes away. We waited long enough to see that “plan b” was actually 2 ice cream vans. At this point we left thoroughly dissatisfied with the whole experience. After we left we kept up with the goings on on the Facebook page (which is no longer there) and apparently what appeared as the milkshake option for the day was NESQUIK! So this “amazing” burger and milkshake festival had ‘flavoured milk powder’ as their milkshake!
I have NEVER been to an event so poorly organised and I will NEVER go to an event organised by this company again. Not only were they not replying to their customers complaints but they were actively deleting negative comments from threads of the event page. Shocking behaviour.
The day after the event, Fat Boiz released a statement on one of the event pages, at no point was there any form of apology, only excuses and passing blame.
After the event I struggled to get a refund. I attempted to contact Fat Boiz via Facebook, which was the only way to contact them. I was told over and over by See Tickets, who I purchased the tickets from, that I had to contact them. It’s difficult to communicate with someone who ignores your messages AND blocks you from their Facebook page. Yes, I was rather vocal with my dissatisfaction with the event but the way they have behaved is childish at best. I had contacted my bank (I purchased the tickets with my credit card) and I had to wait until there is a resolution with See Tickets before the bank, under VISA rules, could take any action. Two and a half weeks since the event, I was still waiting for See Tickets to complete their “investigation” and I thought I was likely going to have to wait until the beginning of the following week before their 14 working days were up. I did, eventually, however, received my refund after contacting them again with more evidence of my attempts to contact the promoter.
As I’m sure you can imagine I will now be avoiding events run by Fat Boiz, London Garden Events and Studio 338.
Feature image by Kristina Paukshtite from Pexels