The TomorrowWorld music festival in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia, turned less than festive this weekend as hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the globe woke up Sunday morning to find out they had been barred from returning to the festival for the final day.
Following the conclusion of Saturday night’s performances, guests not spending their night in the mud-soaked DreamVille camp grounds were counting on shuttle busses to return them home safely. But late Saturday night, many found themselves inexplicably stranded at the festival with no way to return home and nowhere to bed down.
Amid the ensuing chaos, which many attributed not only to the terrible weather but also to a remarkable lack of communication from festival officials, attendees were forced to walk home, barter for cab rides, and ultimately sleep on the side of the road, turning the festival into a scene straight out of “The Walking Dead.”
“It was either take an Uber or be stranded,” Tony Nguyen, a festival-goer, told Maxim. “Outside in the darkness, everything looked the same. It was a complete shit-show."
Nguyen estimated there were 2,000-3,000 people waiting in line in the cold for transport.
"No one told us where to go, so we wound up walking aimlessly following other stranded people. We wound up walking for 5 miles," Nguyen recalled. "Along the walk, 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."
"I left the event at 12:30 and got home at 5:30,” Nguyen added. “I had a great time last year, but this was a nightmare.”
While thousands made their way for miles to find shelter or transportation, conditions back at the festival weren't much better. Another festival attendee, who asked not to be identified, regaled Maxim with horror stories about the conditions of the DreamVille campground, where hundreds of festival-goers had paid extra to spend the weekend, in order to be closer to the festivities.
“We had to get out," he said. "It was a disaster. The tents were leaking and the floor was nothing but mud. On Sunday morning, we had to walk three miles off the campground and to civilization with all of our luggage, completely drenched. All of the festival employees were completely confused and unhelpful.”
TomorrowWorld officials recently began communicating with attendees about refunds for those turned away from today’s festivities, but there is no official word yet about when the money will be forthcoming. When reached for comment by Maxim, here's what festival officials said:
" Today, Sunday September 27, TomorrowWorld will be accessible only to visitors currently camping onsite at DreamVille. We take the safety of all of our visitors very seriously. The rainfall since Thursday resulted in limited capacity of festival parking fields, drop-off locations, and the shuttle system. Festival-goers with day tickets, guest list tickets, and anyone not already camping at DreamVille will unfortunately not be able to access today’s events. Food and entertainment will be provided for the visitors already situated in DreamVille. The refund policy for affected visitors will be announced as soon as possible."
Not only did the weather drench the grounds of Chattahoochee, it dampened the spirits of just about every person in attendance. TomorrowWorld's tagline is “The Key to Happiness.” But this year, at least, it’s safe to say that no one left smiling.