A promoter of the controversial Sushi And Wine Festival that went down in Siġġiewi last weekend has opened up about why hundreds of festival-goers left with a very bad taste in their mouths.
“On my behalf, I was involved in the promotion of this event and I feel I should explain a few points here for you,” Mr Borg said following days of backlash to his event.
“This was the first time a sushi festival was ever organised and although it was expected to be of interest to many, still we could not perceive the exact amount of people coming since it was an open invitation to all,” he said.
The inaugural edition of the Wine and Sushi festival was plagued by a number of issues, according to wine and sushi-lovers who attended it.
People complained of hour-long queues, a lack of available sushi and a general sense of disorganisation- and scores of people took to social media to air their grievances and give feedback to the highly-anticipated festival. Soon enough, some ended up hailing it Malta’s very own Fyre Fest.
“You queue to enter the venue to get into another queue to buy tokens to get into another queue to buy a drink and get into another queue for food. You queue two hours long to just order and another 40 minutes wait to get your food prepared,” is how one person described it.
“We spent €40 to stand in queues, everyone was talking about how awful it was and leaving after an hour,” said another.
However, the promoter has since given his explanation of what went right and wrong that night.
He started off by explaining who was actually involved in the organisation, started with the actual location, which has already distanced itself from the event.
“The venue was only hired from third parties for this event and has nothing to do with all the failures that unfortunately occurred,” Borg said. “And the stand that took care of sake, wine and whiskey was another independent company, which on the night of the event functioned perfectly to the demand.”
“The organisers also hired an independent contractor to provide anything necessary for sushi/Asian food and also to serve customers appropriately,” Borg continued. “This contractor was kept informed all along that we are expecting a lot of people to attend this event, therefore this organisation should have taken necessary action and see that it provides the best setup and enough staff to cater for this request.”
“Regarding the tokens bought, there was no obligation on anyone to buy a specific amount.”
“It was free for all to consider their expense. Also kindly note that in no event ever, have already bought tokens been redeemed back to cash,” he said.
The promoter ended by apologising for the event, asking for festival-goers to understand the circumstances that led to their failed event.
“This is the only message that our team has given and won’t be replying any individual messages. We humbly ask you to understand the above-mentioned circumstances and we are really sorry for all unsatisfactory issues that arose during this event.”