The TomorrowWorld electronic music festival in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia, took a miserable turn late Saturday when rain and muddy roads stranded concertgoers at the venue. Thousands were left outside overnight without shelter, food, or water after road conditions led organizers to halt cab and shuttle activity.
24-year-old Elizabeth Feindel told The Huffington Post she walked a total of ten miles through the woods, tracked with her phone's pedometer, as occasional police officers and festival organizers directed her group further and further down the road. Feindel said they were told around 3,000 Uber cabs would evacuate the forest within a few hours, but eventually her group had to just find one on their own.
"We saw people peppered on the sides of the road who had given up from exhaustion," Feindel wrote in an email. She arrived at her hotel at 5:30 a.m.
"It was unfair for them to tell us to 'keep walking, there are shuttles a few miles down the road' when they already knew all of them had been canceled," Twitter user EDMPocahontas told Mashable, who eventually contacted her husband for a ride at 7 a.m. Reports and Internet commenters blamed the apparent lack of communication and preparedness on the event organizers.
"I saw a girl in a cast who was being carried by two guys, people sleeping on the side of the road, and I pushed a guy in a wheelchair though the mud," another attendee told Maxim.
TomorrowWorld, an American spinoff of Belgium's TomorrowLand festival, has been held annually since 2013 near a small Georgia town of roughly 2,400, around a 40 minutes' drive southwest of Atlanta. Last year, the festival attracted 160,000 guests from 75 countries and was on track to sell out in 2015, as well. A portion of guests camp out overnight, but the majority relies on shuttle services and cabs -- Uber partnered with organizers this year -- for transportation to and from the day's shows.
Due to conditions, organizers cancelled the third day of the event on Sunday for anyone who wasn't already set to camp out. TomorrowWorld issued an apology for the last day's inconveniences on its website, along with instructions for obtaining refunds for Sunday tickets.
Having shelled out $145 for a one-day ticket ($357 for a three-day pass), though, the experience was a turn-off for some guests.
"These conditions were deplorable," Feindel said. "TomorrowWorld should be ashamed of their heartless actions that caused their guests to be put in harm's way."
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