Vendors at Knotfest Iowa Apologize for Two-Hour Water Lines
Two companies involved with event logistics at Knotfest Iowa have apologized for the débâcle that led to waits of more than two hours to buy a bottle of water at the 30,000-person festival, which took place this past weekend.
Many fans who showed up to see Slipknot, Megadeth, Lamb of God, Gojira are more witnessed people faint while on line as a result of dehydration, and others resorted to paying other concertgoers up to $25 for a single bottle or can of water for dehydrated friends or children.
Making matters worse, the venue banned refillable water bottles from being brought in, rendering attendees unable to handle the task themselves at refill stations, spigots or even restrooms. One video posted on social media shows a large group of fans surrounding a water tent chanting, “We want water! We want water!” over and over.
The backlash against Knotfest was fast and furious, with hundreds of posts filling social media beginning in realtime on Saturday afternoon and continuing through yesterday.
Now BEST Concessions and Catering, the company in charge of food and water vending at Knotfest, have issued a statement apologizing for their shortcomings and blaming staffing shortages for the problem. They explained:
“First and foremost, BEST Concessions and Catering would like to apologize to all those who were affected by the events at Saturday’s Knotfest. As the concessionaire and head of food vendors for this year’s Knotfest in Iowa and an experienced concert concessionaire, we went into the event with a staff we expected would be able to accommodate Knotfest. However, a few days before the festival, our staff dwindled. At that point, we regrouped and hired additional help and unfortunately on the day of the event, we saw a huge drop in staff. As many others in the hospitality industry have seen, staffing has been difficult with the ongoing pandemic. With more than 30 years of experience in hospitality this was an unprecedented occurrence and as a company we will work hard to prevent situations like this from arising again. We are again very sorry for the experience some concertgoers had and apologize to everyone who encountered long lines and were unable to access concessions.”
Mammoth Productions, the company who ran the whole festival and sub-contracted BEST Concessions and Catering, also weighed in, saying:
“In preparation for this inaugural event and to ensure a positive experience at Knotfest Iowa, Mammoth Productions engaged one of Iowa’s largest concessionaires (BEST Concessions and Catering with over 30 years of experience and who manage many large events and concerts). We strive for excellence in all aspects of events and acknowledge that this was lacking in certain aspects at Knotfest Iowa and we are deeply disappointed by what happened. This is not the standard we hold ourselves to and we will do everything to ensure that situations like this will not happen again.
“The vending issue should not reflect negatively on Knotfest, Slipknot or their team. Slipknot and the Knotfest team did a phenomenal job bringing an exceptional entertainment experience and we value our partnership. We are sincerely sorry that the logistical issues we experienced marred the exceptional performances of the artists as well as the experience of their fans.
“We were so pleased and honored that we were able to bring such a popular event to Iowa as we continue to navigate through a worldwide pandemic. The event not only brought a great day of entertainment, but also employed thousands of locals in the process. Again, we apologize to the fans for our shortcomings and promise to do better in the future.
Knotfest / Slipknot, who in turn hired Mammoth to run the event, have still not commented on or apologized for the issues. Even though they were at least two levels removed from the problem, it would be a nice gesture to their fans who had to suffer through a very difficult — and dangerous — day.