Local performers, concertgoers say weekend music festival was a - KMOV.com

Local performers, concertgoers say weekend music festival was a scam

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Boonphoria Music Festival poster. (Credit: Boonphoria) Boonphoria Music Festival poster. (Credit: Boonphoria)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Local performers are calling a weekend music festival held near Columbia a scam.

Boonphoria Music Festival was advertised as a three-day electronic Earth Day music and camping festival in Boonville, Missouri but, when performers and festival goers arrived, they found it was nothing like they were told.

“We all thought it was going to be this huge festival,” said Serena Daily, who was supposed to perform at the festival.

Daily and others drove from St. Louis and when they arrived on Friday, they found just a few dozen people. The event’s Facebook page advertised that more than 1,000 tickets had been sold.

“There were probably 20 to 30 people,” said Daily.

Photos show an empty field, with a stage and some vendors who paid money to participate in the festival.

“Vendors were furious and started leaving as early as Friday night,” said a woman who does henna art. “I stuck around until late Saturday just hoping the crowd they talked about would finally show. But, I was disappointed.”

Another DJ said he showed up for his set on Saturday to just a handful of people. He said the generator kept breaking down and they had to keep stopping the show.

Daily said she performed her hula hoop routine to a basically empty field.

“I hooped the whole weekend and I feel like I deserve to get paid for what I did,” she said.

Daily said she has not been paid. Other performers, including some of the DJs, say they were only given a portion of their payments

News 4 called, emailed and messaged the organizers listed as Assos Media but no one returned our calls.

The event was billed as three days but it didn’t start until late Friday and those who attended said nothing happened on Sunday. There was no VIP lounge, silent disco, or a number of other things advertised.

“I 100 percent believe it was a scam,” said Daily, who has contacted the Attorney General’s office.

The Better Business Bureau says they don’t have any complaints on the company but they do warn about festival scams. Here is their advice on how to spot a potential scam:

  • Research before purchasing: Search online for the name of the festival and make sure the name advertised matches the website. Scammers often use names that sound similar to real festivals. Check BBB.org and BBB Scam Tracker to see if reports have been filed about the event.
  • Check for (working) contact information: Be sure the festival website has a phone number, physical address, and email address. Be wary of sites that make it hard to reach someone, such as those that rely on a contact form instead of offering a customer service phone number.
  • Prices too good to be true: There is no way a festival can offer tickets at extremely low prices without losing money. If the prices are much lower than elsewhere, it’s likely a scam.
  • Claims too good to be true: Do a little online sleuthing to see if claims add up. If a music festival offers top entertainment, check out those bands’ actual touring schedule.

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