A look back at the infamously disastrous edition of TomorrowWorld that took over social media last year.

On September 25 to 27 last year, Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia, became home to what is now known as the most catastrophic edition of TomorrowWorld ever. Rivaling the likes of Woodstock ’99 in its colossal disparity, TomorrowWorld ’15 was a major blow to SFX Entertainment, the organizing company behind the festival. Let’s take a look into why this festival failed to do what it had been doing for several years. Two main factors that contributed to the collapse of the festival were – the undeniably poor organization, and the unfortunate weather conditions. The aftermath that followed was simply a consequence of the mayhem.

Poor organization

My main problem is that I just don’t trust SFX. They will have to do a lot to even make me consider going back. No one should be treated the way I was treated. The mud was the least of my concerns. The staff was hostile and put people in dangerous situations seemingly on a whim. They are very lucky there weren’t more deaths. – Joseph Farkas, Facebook 

Probably the primary reason for the wrath of scorned fans on social media, poor organization led to many unsolicited problems for the festival. Due to the heavy rainfall on Saturday evening, that night after all sets ended the campgrounds of Dreamville were left no better than a muddy slush. Majority of the attendees were counting on shuttle buses as their ride home. Instead, all of those non-campers trying to get back to their homes and hotels had to trek through mud for miles in the dark in order to access shuttles and Ubers, which were unable to reach the festival grounds since the roads leading to the entrance were deemed inaccessible. Approximately 3,000 attendees were left in the cold, waiting for transportation. After a point, the tired had to take rest on the roadside. It’s been specified a number of time son social media that there was a remarkable lack of communication from festival organizers.

The weather

Thanks tomorrowworld. I now have the flu [because] I had to walk for forever in the cold rain. I can’t decide what sucks more the way people were treated or the flu. – Johnathon Paul, Facebook 

According to the TomorrowWorld website, “Continuous and unexpected rainfall over the last three days has severely limited capacity of the parking lots, entrance roads, and drop off locations in and around the festival site, and has led to severe traffic congestion.” The 8000-acre land of Chattahoochee Hills was subject to relentless rainfall, deeming the festival venue inhabitable for many. The weather conditions, seemingly sporadic, were unfortunate, but only part of the reason the festival took a disastrous turn. Thousands of festival attendees spent majority of the night stranded by the road without food, water, or shelter, and no way to get back home.

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(Image via: buzz.blog.ajc.com)

The aftermath

Sounds like some underpaid, overworked staffer erroneously refunded the entire amount and they’re having to back track […] Fuck tomorrowworld. I paid for a key to happiness and got the gateway to hell. – Erin Alexis, Facebook

The onslaught of rage and backlash that descended upon TomorrowWorld is probably known to all. Several sexual assaults and injuries were said to have been reported after Saturday nights, having taken place during those hours spent stranded by the attendees. The next day of the festival was promptly cancelled to all non-campers, which didn’t garner the festival much love. Many demanded full refund of their tickets, especially those who had traveled far to get to the festival. Soon the festival issued refund, 1/3 of the ticket, only to make the process too complicated for many to follow. This is part of the statement released by the festival, “In accordance with the TomorrowWorld Ticket Refund policy, found here, 1/3 of your ticket price will be refunded, not the entire amount. Since we refunded the full ticket price, we will now charge 2/3 of the ticket price separately again. We will strive to have both transactions be part of a single month’s statement so no additional action is required from your side.” Read more about it here. If things weren’t already looking terrible for the festival, only days after the festival came to a dodgy end, news of a death at TomorrowWorld spread like wildfire. While this had nothing to do with the organization, it dampened the festival’s already ruined reputation further. Hate statuses and even merchandise/memorabilia of the terrible ensued soon after. Festival organizers, this is everything you probably want to watch out for.