Boston Food Truck Festival Review: Epic Fail

11 Jun

Food Truck Festivals of New England, Boston Food Truck Festival UMassFood Truck Festivals of New England hosted the Boston Food Truck Festival on June 10th at the UMass Boston campus center.

With nearly 30 trucks in attendance, it certainly sounds like it would be a fantastic time.

It could have been a great day, if the event had been planned better and a reasonable amount of tickets had been sold.

For some reason, Food Truck Festivals of New England decided to sell an unseemly amount of tickets resulting in—you guessed it—excruciatingly long lines and food shortages.

UMass Boston Food Truck Festival Review: The Lines That Never End

The lines.  Oh the lines. They were terrible. Even the very unimpressive food trucks you’d find at any fair ground in the county had at least 30 minute wait lines.

The lines from each truck were so long that they stretched out from the outer lying circle of trucks into the middle, creating a giant whirlpool of hunger and chaos. Suddenly those silly VIP tickets made sense.

lines at Boston Food Truck Festival UMass

This is the line that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend.

Despite promising to “live tweet” the event as @BOSfoodtruck, I almost instantly surrendered that idea, since I was pretty sure that only a few people would enjoy updates about how many places forward I’d managed to move in line every ten minutes.

Perhaps this day was especially grueling for me due to my ridiculously weak tolerance for sun and heat (gotta love that Irish heritage) as I spent my long waits in line glaring at the sun and hastily dumping more sunscreen on myself. After waiting 23 minutes for a slice of pizza, and then 50 minutes for a slider, I gave up on the thought of getting my money’s worth.

While it was fun to see New England’s food trucks all converged together to celebrate the wonder of mobile cuisine, the lack of shade and ridiculously long waits made the day an extreme disappointment, and to be quite frank, a bit miserable.

I’ll rescue myself from being a total crankster by reflecting on how nice it was to spend some time with fellow food truck fanatic and twitterer @Hybernaut. Like many others, we teamed up to divide and conquer by each waiting in a different food truck line with one another’s ticket, but in the end even that strategy wasn’t viable without at least a group of 4 or 5.

We checked in with Staff Meal (sporting their pretty new makeover) and Mei Mei’s Street Kitchen, both working tirelessly in the hot kitchens to serve the hungry masses.

Rocket Food Truck, food truck festivals of new england reviews

I got to try Rocket for the first time. The slider was good, but didn’t justify the 50 minute wait.

This UMass Boston Food Truck Festival was very disappointing and certainly fell well below of my expectations and excitement for this event. I had hoped the food truck festival would give me a chance to review new food trucks and sample a variety of food truck dishes, but I was lucky to get even the meager samples I did manage to scrounge up.

Food Truck Festivals: Buyer Beware!

I wouldn’t recommend attending one of these food truck festival events unless you know specifically how many tickets are being sold –I was told that although the trucks has been instructed to bring supplies for 1,000 servings, there were closer to 5,000 people attending the event.

If Food Trucks of New England wants to make these events work, they absolutely have to plan better, because today was a small disaster, and honestly ruined what could have been a gorgeous summer Sunday.

I would like to tell you about the few trucks I did sample, but the point would be moot—no slider or grilled cheese feels worth a 50 minute wait.

Did you attend the Boston Food Truck Festival at UMass Boston on June 10th? What was your experience? Am I just a crab or was it that terrible?

Update: Food Trucks Festivals of NE has posted this response addressing those unhappy with Wednesday. I don’t find it incredibly comforting personally, but at least they are admitting they did wrong.

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35 Responses to “Boston Food Truck Festival Review: Epic Fail”

  1. Brian Del Vecchio ⊕ (@Hybernaut) June 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    The food was great, but the logistics were quite frustrating. I don’t know if the event was oversold, but it’s a huge challenge for the small teams in these trucks to supply food at this rate of throughput. Some trucks were running double their line staff to keep up, but others were struggling to keep up with their regular. Running a simplified menu, and not needing to do cash transactions for every guest helped some, but several of the vendors we talked with had served well over 1,000 dishes before 3pm. I don’t think the quality of food was sacrificed–nearly all the food I sampled was very close to the quality these trucks normally serve.

    Some of these vendors are personal heroes for me. Not just for the amazing food, but because they’re the best kind of entrepreneur in the world: bootstrapping businesses on creativity and amazing work ethic. I really want them to succeed and not have to burn out trying to break even.

    But for a festival like this to succeed, it has to work for the guests as well. I really hope that the organizing team learned a few things from yesterday’s event and make adjustments so that the festival is better for the guests. That may include capping the attendance and better policing of lines.

    Hanging out with Megan saved the day for me–individually neither of us would have lasted long at all. Thanks, Megan–you’re a great team eater!

    • meggo4all June 11, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

      That’s a great point – the food trucks absolutely retained the quality we’ve come to expect from them, which I really respect under such stressful conditions. Yes, so many food trucks are such inspirations. It’s great to see people following their dreams and doing something with such passion and excitement.
      And thanks, you are a great team eater too! So glad you were there.

  2. Ander June 11, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

    I think that this event was grossly over sold. Obviously, the trucks can only make so much – the problem was the amount of people.

    The lines were so long it was impossible to tell even where the ends were. It was the norm to stand in line for at least 45 minutes for a sample of food. We had to split up to even think about getting more than one item and we had to eat while in line – not a fun social experience.

    It should have been a great event. The trucks produce really wonderful food and I do not blame them one bit. The quality and volume that came out of their tiny kitchens is astonishing. Unfortunately, because of the shear number of people, the trucks ended up looking bad when they ran out of everything. We went home feeling hot, tired and HUNGRY.

    • meggo4all June 11, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

      I agree Ander – the food trucks themselves aren’t to blame, but rather Food Trucks of New England, for the poor organizing and planning.
      What stinks is realizing how great the event couldhave been – it was such a beautiful day and the venue had great scenery. Lots of wasted potential.

  3. Lisa June 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    I had been so looking forward to this event. What a disappointment!!! The food was great (well, what little I had) and I certainly don’t blame the vendors, but for $38 and 2 hours of my life I got 2 cookies, a slider, a sunburn and an unhappy husband. I feel badly for anyone who paid full price for their tickets.

    • meggo4all June 11, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

      Me too Lisa, I’m glad I at least had a Groupon.

  4. r254h45 June 11, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    Definitely a giant disappointment and waste of money. After three hours, we’d tried two trucks and waited in 4 lines that were sold out just when we got to the front. What I did try was great, but it wasn’t a broad sampling of the region’s mobile food cuisine that I was expecting.

    You have to figure with 27 trucks and 5000 tickets sold, that’s 185 people in each line at any given time. Logistically, I can’t believe no one did the math on that.

    • meggo4all June 11, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

      Yup, certainly a recipe for disaster.

  5. Danielle Kempe (@DJDiG) June 11, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    I had a VIP ticket to this event, and it made a world of difference. I had a blast sampling from nearly 1/2 of the carts, with not much wait time. Here’s my review on Yelp:

    When I left around 1 PM the lines were getting crazy, but I was leaving so I didn’t think about it too much.

    • meggo4all June 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

      Glad you had a better experience Danielle. It sounds like arriving early was well worth the VIP ticket.

  6. Catherine June 11, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    Not as angry as I was last night, but still not happy. We tried a 1.5 in hotdog, 3in hotdog, 2 cookies and 1/2 a grilled cheese sandwich which was great and paid $2 for fries, also good. We didn’t even get to the real gourmet stuff. The hotdog stands had the shortest lines. Really expected more. Went with my sweetie and was going to hit the Lowell event with friends, but won’t now. We work very hard for our money and I wouldn’t ask them to waste money on something that clearly can’t deliver.

    I feel badly for the vendors. They needed to have more people serving. And apparently one vendor was told to bring 500 portions. FTFNE really doesn’t know what they are doing.

    Good thing it was near the ocean with the cool breeze otherwise people would have been getting sick…oh and the poor children!

  7. Jon Ryan June 11, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    You’re not a grump. I went with my family (4 adults, 3 young kids) and we split everyone up just so we could actually try more than 1 or 2 carts. My initial line was about 20 minutes, then the next one 55. After that, all the lines seemed as long, if not longer, than the 55 minute line I just finished, and we gave up. Thanks to splitting up, I did get to try more than just 2 carts, but not much more.

    The food that I did try was very good and the trucks seemed to be doing the best they could, but the lines made the event as a whole a big failure.

    • meggo4all June 12, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

      Thanks for the confirmation that I’m not a total crab Jon! Sorry you had to suffer through that. Must have been even tougher with young kids.

  8. Kevin June 11, 2012 at 10:54 pm #

    Well, I guess I’m crabbier than most, because I blame everyone involved. I think we all agree that there was little to no planning. Even so, once the event started things could have been done to alleviate the frustration-both from the organizers and the vendors. For instance, how about organizers helping form coherent lines and paths; vendors occasionally walking the line to update people and offer drinks for those with tickets that wanted just that; stop selling longer to prepare food, etc. It was simply a bad plan put in motion and never amended along the way. The vendors and organizers have to be dolts or just not care to witness 4 hours of this and not come up with contingency plans. All I can say is never again, and no more groupon–there are always substandard issues involved!

    (p.s) I’m in one of your photos and ashamed that I waited through two lines before leaving.

    • meggo4all June 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

      That’s funny I caught you in some photos!

      I don’t really blame the food trucks since it’s up to the organizers to tell them how to prepare, although it’s true that while some food trucks brought extra workers, others had only two or three people in the kitchens (admittedly some can’t fit much more). I certainly understand your frustration though Kevin. It’ll take a lot to drag me to another food truck fest.

  9. johnk June 12, 2012 at 2:32 am #

    I despise these festivals. I’m always in a foul mood when I leave these things, so I gave up on them. Never again…

    I also don’t do “taste-of” events; the shitty, old, catered food you get on event day isn’t the same as ordering fresh (and paying regular price).

    Restaurants weeks can suck it, too.

    • meggo4all June 12, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

      What? Restaurant week rocks!

  10. Amanda of Prim and Propah June 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    We went that very same day and I too could not take the glaring sun and long lines. We made it to 3 trucks total but when the man waited in like for half an hour only to find out that ALL the food at that truck was gone, we cut our losses and got out. I would never go back to this event again and that is a shame because it wasn\’t the food trucks\’ fault.

    • meggo4all June 12, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

      Sorry Amanda, that’s certainly no fun.

  11. R June 12, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    Organizers should be very ashamed, no one should have to experience disasterous planning like that!

  12. Whitney Klinkner June 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    Agreed- way too many people.

    Another problem was with the VIP vouchers from TravelZoo. The staffers were manually looking us up on a printed piece of paper while EventBrite and Groupon had bar code scanning up and running. Wasted 30 minutes of the “VIP” time just getting through the ticket line.

    Great idea. Poor execution.

  13. Alex June 12, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    I saw a picture of the Rockingham, NH event from last year as an advertisement for this years events and it showed long, long lines of people standing in the blazing sun. I couldn’t figure out if they were encouraging me or discouraging me from coming. It’s a great idea, I’d love to try it but not with those numbers, sadly. I’ll run around Boston and track down the ones I want to try food from.

  14. FTFNE June 12, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

    A note to all on behalf of Food Truck Festivals of New England, we appreciate all of the feedback, both positive and negative and hope this note clarifies everything and answers any and all additional questions we’ve been receiving. Please read below and contact us if you still have concerns.

    For those of you who have written to us telling us what a good time you had at the Boston Food Truck Festival, thank you. For those of you who have written to us telling us that you did not have a good time at the Boston Food Truck Festival, we wanted to use this space to talk to you:

    We sold 4,000 tickets to the festival and we had 27 trucks.
    4,000 tickets should have translated to 4,000 people. We have had events in the past with 10,000 people and 20 trucks that were not as crowded as this one. It tells us that the system was flawed and abused.
    Each person who bought a ticket received one ticket book entitling them to something from each truck and a stamp on their hand proving that they purchased.
    The trucks were instructed to only give one person with a hand stamp and a ticket one portion.
    This did not happen.
    Some people purchased a book and then divided it amongst friends and family. Thus, one book which should have represented one person, instead represented anywhere from two-to-ten people.
    Some of our trucks did not honor the one ticket per person with a hand stamp system.
    As a result, we had many more people than the 4,000 we sold to…and the abuse of the system made for long lines.
    We along with our trucks take responsibility for not communicating better with those of you on line. If a truck saw that they were running out of an item they should have informed the line, rather than simply crossing that item off the menu after you had waited a half hour to get it.
    We should have been up and down the lines better guiding people to trucks that could accommodate them and better informing them as to the wait for a particular truck.
    Some trucks took six seconds to create an item. If you were on a line of one hundred people, that means you would have been at the front in ten minutes. Not bad. But you couldn’t have known that and you should have.
    Other trucks did not work as quickly. They would sell an item then ask you if you wanted condiments. Or they offered ten different flavors of ice cream to choose from. We had lengthy discussions for months with all trucks urging them to only offer items that you can move quickly and just offer two or three so the decision making process would be fast by the attendee.
    Each truck was asked to bring at least 1,000 portions of food—in fact, they were actually contracted (with signed letters of agreement) to bring that amount of food PLUS they were urged to bring more so that they would not run out – and, if they wound up giving more food out, we would pay them for the overage. Many did bring extra food and those trucks did not run out of food and they were paid for the additional portions they distributed to guests. Six of our trucks only sold 700-to-800 portions which means they went home with food. It also means that another 1500 portions were paid for by us that could have been given to you. This is a shame.
    We have learned a variety of things from the Boston Food Truck Festival. People like food trucks. People don’t like lines. Our ticket book system was too easily abused to be used in the future. From now on, our festivals will allow either direct purchase by you from the trucks or you will buy a small amount of taste tickets to be used like money for the trucks. But we will say this: There will still be lines. It is the nature of large events involving today’s food trucks. Remember this is not “fast” food…it is gourmet food. It is cooked, not pre-packaged. That’s why it’s so good. So there is waiting when it comes to food trucks. But there should never have been the kinds of lines we saw on Sunday – we are committed to avoiding that ever happening again.
    Again, to the many who enjoyed (most of whom came early), we’re glad you did. And to those who did not, we apologize and hope this helps explain the situation better. The ticket book system did not work. And the trucks and we could have done a better job of communication to those people on line. Many lessons learned.

    We still have 9 more food truck festivals planned for the summer and fall throughout New England. We hope those of you who were disappointed at our first will give us another chance – you will love the food and we hope that your experience will be a better one.

    Thank you.

    • Staff Meal (@staffmealtruck) June 12, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

      Why not offer an amenity, or two, or three that isn’t a food truck, in order to mitigate long lines at the trucks? I.e. a beer tent, live music, face painting for children, etc.
      Personally, we’d hate to have to be forced to compromise the quality of our food in order to push through customers 6 seconds at a time.
      You had mentioned in your message that this isn’t fast food, but rather, gourmet food. Even fast food in this country isn’t being served in 6 seconds per customer. That seems to me to be an unreasonable request.
      Also from our point of view, the technique of weighing the tickets at the end of the festival, in order to determine how many portions were served overall, seems flawed. We were handed many, many tickets that were torn improperly, which would misrepresent the weight of the ticket. We were told that we only served ~900 portions of food, when we brought a fixed-count, unopened case of 1k cardboard containers that we used entirely and had to open another in order to accommodate more customers. We used 1 sleeve of 250 containers from that case. To be told that we shorted event goers on food, is kind of a bummer and sounds like finger pointing.
      And while preventing folks from spreading tickets out amongst non-paying guests is clearly a problem with the ticketing system, the onus should be on the organizers to prevent this, not the truck operators and employees. Why should we have to deal with denying customers who are capitalizing on a loophole found in your system? These may be people with whom we are friendly with on the streets of Boston and other cities. Turning them down after they’ve already waited in a long line for our food can be damaging to our relationships with current and potential future customers.

      • Brian Del Vecchio ⊕ (@Hybernaut) June 13, 2012 at 2:39 am #

        Weighing tickets to get a count works in a lot of situations, but I would not do business with someone who brought their own scale, counted 25% less than me, and offered no manual count to resolve the difference.

        Reading this, plus FTFNE’s publicly blaming both the guests and the food truck operators for cheating–it’s eroding my ability to support this organization.

    • meggo4all June 13, 2012 at 12:08 am #

      I think part of the problem here may be conflicting expectations between Food Trucks Festivals of New England and its guests.

      When you initially said over 4,000 tickets were sold and you had asked each truck to have 1,000 portions ready, I was confused by that math- clearly each truck wouldn’t have enough to serve even half of the visitors. I now realize you never expected each guest to try each truck.

      Speaking for myself, when I saw that the festival would have 30 trucks, I planned on visiting all 30 trucks. The point of paying a larger entrance fee is that prospect of trying not just a few trucks as you might normally, but instead getting to try a large variety.

      For me, that’s part of what was so disappointing – I went expecting to visit 30 food trucks, and instead got to try four.

      Maybe if I had attended realizing I would only try a few of the trucks, it wouldn’t have been so bad. It seems like letting visitors pick and choose individual trucks and having them pay, narrowing down the guests’ selection and lines as result, makes considerably more sense than the strategy of having guests pay for a ticket booklet.

      Just some mobile food for thought ;)

    • Brian Del Vecchio ⊕ (@Hybernaut) June 13, 2012 at 2:24 am #

      Wish you guys all the best–I’d love to be able to tell all my friends that these events are great fun, and I hope to see some improvements at the next event.

      But honestly, I don’t think that duplicating your carefully worded response here counts as engagement.

      I’m afraid that if you work hard to prevent people from teaming up, it will be even more frustrating for people who are standing in line 40-50 minutes for a single serving.

    • Catherine June 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

      Wow, blaming your vendors and patrons. How disgusting. I seriously doubt that people brought friends and family along for the ride. That failure of a ticket booklet wasn’t even known until arrival at the event. People called others to stop on by and join them? Pay parking and stand in the sun just to jump on the wagon and take advantage of free food? That is insulting. Groups combined their tickets for one vendor and split up to alleviate their waits in line, something I would have considered if I had come with more than one person. A person I wanted to experience this with, not split from due to poor event planning.

      1000 portions per vendor? As stated below, I planned on trying each truck and I am sure eveyone else did. This comes up very short.

      All I see in your comments is blaming others, not anything about FTFNE owning their failure. As for attending another event. I would be hard pressed. Spending $30 on a hotdog doesn’t fare well with most people I know.

  15. Ander June 13, 2012 at 2:11 am #

    Re – Staff Meal – I can not believe that NE Foodtruck Festival would even try to point a finger at the trucks or expect them to have done anything differently. The trucks did an amazing job under ridiculous circumstances.

    As far as the 1000 portions vs. 4000 people goes: The tickets were sold stating that you were buying one sample from each truck. Groupon states “Admission gets ticketholders a taste of every vendor’s fare” Every vendor. NE Foodtruck Festival’s own site STILL states “WHAT DOES MY TICKET INCLUDE? You are entitled to one delicious portion from every truck. There will be at least 20 trucks at every festival.” Of course that is what people would expect! If the intent was to offer only, say, 8 samples, then give out 8 tickets – and advertise that.

    To say that a customer’s ticket is good for one sample from each truck when, clearly, they had NO intention of honoring that (based on the number of samples they told the trucks to make), is false advertising. It may have been a mistake – but it is still wrong.

    • meggo4all June 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

      Well said Anders – if the site advertises that a ticket entitles you to “one delicious portion from every truck,” the festival should plan on that, which they clearly did not. Quite misleading.

  16. Evan June 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    We had an equally poor experience at the festival and I called to complain on Monday and they refunded our 4 pack of tickets without too much difficulty. This event has so much potential and as such, this is the email I wrote to them the following day in the hopes they would implement some changes at the next festival. However, based on their terse response to the trucks and customers, I’m not so sure they will:

    I’m writing to express my complete dissatisfaction with the event on June 10th at UMass-Boston. My girlfriend and I were very much looking forward to this event, as we were meeting up with two of her sisters and their kids, so we were expecting a nice day enjoying a variety of food along the water of S. Boston. What we got was a completely different experience.

    Despite arriving on-site to park around 12:10, we were shocked to see massive crowds already forming on the lawn between the trucks. By the time we parked and picked up our ticket books, the crowd had swelled further and we waited in line for Trolly Dogs for approximately 30 minutes; nothing too outrageous, although on the upper end of how long I expected to wait. Our day only got worse from there.

    By 1 o’clock, there were over 5000 people crammed into a tiny area between the trucks and it became impossible to tell what line you were even in. We waited 45 minutes for another truck and by that point, we decided we needed to split up in order to try as much food as possible. So while one couple waited in line with their 8 month old daughter, we waited in another and this time it was close to an hour.

    By the time 3pm rolled around, we had only eaten at 4 trucks and this was only because we split up; not exactly how I envisioned spending my afternoon. 4 small samples of food for $25/pp; complete ripoff!! By far the least satisfying experience was waiting in line for ‘Rockets’ for 1 hr 25 minutes only to find out upon reaching the front they were taking individual orders instead of just pumping food out and letting people put their own toppings on. It was almost as if the festival organizers had no communication with the food truck operators whatsoever prior to this event. Furthermore, we observed numerous trucks running out of food at 2pm; not even 2 hours into the event and they were already out of food!! Did the festival not tell them how many tickets they had sold?

    Based on our experience at your festival, I would never return with my friends/family. Instead of a relaxing, fun filled day, it was one filled with anxiety and anger at how poorly managed this event was. I believe this event has lots of potential but a number of changes need to be made:

    1. 2 sessions; beer festivals do this all the time and it allows the venue to sell just as many, if not more tickets, yet still keep lines/crowds manageable. How about 12-3pm, 5-8pm?

    2. A map of where the food trucks are on site, along with a list of what they are serving. I brought this up on site and was told the reason they didn’t make maps was because they were concerned about littering. Seriously? They are giving us food in paper containers; there are trash cans everywhere. If you’re really concerned about it, put a digital map online with a list of items being served; everyone has a smart phone and can access it while waiting in line.

    3. Queues for line management. Lines stretching straight back do not work. At the peak of the event, the lines actually crossed and intermingled int he middle of the circle, making it impossible to tell where the end of the line was. Similar to airports, put them horizontally and snake it back and forth; far more efficient.

    4. Drop the policy of 1 ticket/per person; why is this policy even in place? Everyone paid money to get a ticket book; if I want 3 servings from one cart and have the tickets for it, I obviously got them from someone else who doesn’t want it. The vendors need to plan to have enough food for ALL attendees; running out of food not even 2 hours in is NOT acceptable.

    5. Beer and music. It was a gorgeous day yesterday and while it wouldn’t have fixed the utter disaster the festival was, having a beer while waiting in line would have been nice. How about a beer garden with a band nearby? That would have siphoned people away from the food and allowed people to enjoy the festival a lot more. If it’s a permitting issue, I understand that but pick a venue that will allow you to get a permit. Beer + food + fun = success

    Thank you for your time reading this lengthy email. I realize it is difficult running an event and coming up with contingency plans for everything that might go wrong. However, there were massive oversights yesterday that ruined my impression of future festivals and doubtlessly lost you future customers.

    • meggo4all June 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

      Good idea with the beer and music Evan – Staff Meal also suggested the idea of setting up a face painting booth for kids as well. Additional amenities like those would absolutely help thin out lines. And you are spot on with the 2 sessions idea – that makes much more sense!

      Really, you’d think Food Truck Fests of NE has never hosted a festival before. Yeesh.

      My experience was very similar to yours. Sorry you had to go through that, although I’m glad you managed to get a refund.

  17. FrenchyXXI June 14, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    They are making a bad situation worse with their new ticketing plan, particularly for people who already purchased tickets.

    “Based on the long lines at the Boston Food Truck Festival, we have revamped our ticketing system to make your experience more enjoyable. We will sell tickets at the event to be used like currency. Ten tickets for $10. You can certainly purchase more but the minimum is $10. Use them like money at any truck you’d like! Each truck will offer items in exchange for tickets…for example, a sandwich for six tickets or an Italian ice for two tickets. We hope you enjoy our future festivals! But please be aware…no matter what…food truck festivals do have lines. Many trucks sell gourmet food, not fast food. Preparation can take some time. We appreciate your patience!

    If you are an existing ticket holder, who purchased through Eventbrite, the value of your ticket will still be honored. For example, if you purchased a $30 general admission ticket, you will receive 30 taste tickets upon check in. VIP ticket purchasers will receive $40 in taste tickets.”

    So they’ve completely moved away from your ticket giving you the right to one sample from each truck. Additionally, their later facebook comments have indicated that people who purchased their tickets through Groupon or TravelZoo or some other discounter will not be receiving ANY taste tickets, but instead simply be granted a refund. My wife and I purchased VIP tickets to the Salem Festival using TravelZoo. So, while I would not have been happy about this new system, I probably would have been fine going with $40 in “taste tickets” and getting in an hour early. Now, I won’t even be going at all. Food Truck Festivals of New England has proven themselves to be an incompetent organization that does not value its customers.

    • Marisa Gant July 10, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

      This phenomenon of long lines at food truck festivals/events has been happening in Seattle too. I think organizers of these events have just simply underestimated the demand that was going to be present. But there are also logistical issues, such as the amount of food the trucks can supply and the space they have to sell food according to the city’s rules. Hopefully as these events take off more and more, the events will become more smooth and people won’t have to wait to long for the wonderful treats!

  18. Barney March 2, 2013 at 1:29 am #

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