- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The St. Louis parks director wants to ban a national soul food festival from returning, after what he says was a disastrous performance that left fans angry and trashed city land over the weekend.

The Kinfolks Soul Food Festival drew around 2,000 people to the Art Hill park for what had been planned as six hours of old-school funk and music, according to city parks director Gary Bess. It was the festival’s second time in St. Louis.

But according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1qGxoYu ), the gates opened late and the lineup of bands dragged. Police had to shut down the concert at 12:45 a.m., two hours later than scheduled, and the festival also didn’t provide enough trash cans.

Bess said he found the park littered with cardboard boxes, plastic cups and Styrofoam food trays.

“The event was a disaster,” he said. “It was poorly organized. It was not very well attended. There was no effective plan to clean up the site. The production of the event itself was totally unacceptable.”

Pat Williams, president and CEO of concert promoter Kinfolks Foundation, said mistakes were made by his company, but it wasn’t solely at fault.

“We’re not perfect,” he said. “We wanted to give the people a show to the best of our abilities and we prided ourselves on coming back. This is not our history. This is not who we are.”

Another event that occurred the night before prevented his crews from setting up the space until later than scheduled, Williams said. He added another company was hired to clean up during and after the festival, but left without cleaning up afterward.

Brian Nelson, also known as DJ Kut, said he said heard complaints from attendees all night.

“I had to do everything except set myself on fire to keep people entertained,” he said. “It was pretty bad.”


Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com

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