Viral posts online have prompted refund requests and described customers’ experience with the market as nothing short of chaotic, comparing it to the Fyre Festival.
HOWARD COUNTY, Md. — A viral virus Reddit post with over 700 upvotes describes a chaotic experience at a Howard County weekend event, the Asia Collective Night Market.
Police now say the event will not be hosted in the county.
Saturday’s event, which took place at the Howard County Fairgrounds, sparked demands for refunds as social media users described messy logistics including hour-long lines and accusing organizers for arranging a get-rich-quick scheme with the event; comparing it to the infamous Fyre Festival.
The event was originally billed as the DMV’s ultimate Asian food festival and East Coast’s largest, where visitors could sample a variety of cuisines from 40 restaurants for a $10 adult admission fee. .
Howard County police said in a special event plan obtained by WUSA9 that at least 25,000 attendees were expected. “Traffic congestion in the area is expected and anticipated to be significant due to the high volume of oncoming vehicles,” the document reads among a detailed parking plan that addresses auxiliary parking, traffic direction, backup management and more.
A spokesperson for the police department told WUSA9 that ultimately the event sponsor allowed attendance to be well over capacity – some with tickets and some without – and that the location and surrounding roads could not handle the volume.
“The sponsor organized ineffective parking coordination which created a traffic jam in and around the parking lot,” Sherry Llewellyn, director of public affairs for the police chief’s office, told WUSA9.
“Police did everything they could to manage the traffic, but there were simply too many vehicles for the roads to handle. This was the first time this event had taken place in Howard County and due to poor coordination, we do not expect to allow it to be hosted in our jurisdiction again.”
Llewellyn went on to share that, on the day of the event, the organizer was hard to reach and understaffed to adequately meet the needs at any given time.
“The organizer has been given many goals and requirements ahead of this event to include signage, lighting, adequate parking staff and buses to assist with transportation which have not been satisfied,” she said.
On their Instagram page, the detailed market in a Publish that people coming to the fairgrounds without tickets made organizers feel overwhelmed.
“We had difficulty executing parking plans and checking in efficiently,” it read. “We are sincerely sorry for those who were unable to come to our event, due to traffic.”
The post continues to encourage anyone with concerns to email [email protected]
WUSA9 has contacted the organizers to seek comment regarding the social media allegations and has yet to receive a response.
A woman named Sophie Shi who at one point claimed to be a co-founder of the festival seems to have no more Twitter Account.
Although comments expressing their displeasure with the festival were popular, some expressed that they enjoyed the experience.
“I may be the minority here but we waited in traffic for about an hour and a half to go 2 miles,” one Reddit user said in the thread. “We got in after queuing for 5-10 minutes so not too bad. Queues were long but some moved faster than others. Once the sun went down we had a great time The food was pretty good and like a bunch of the vendors the old lady doing the sugar art was lovely and amazing.
Another Instagram user on the market post said, “My family had a great time, we arrived 1 hour early (wasn’t planned), luck got to take advantage of the food vendors and music without any problem.”
WUSA9 will update this story with a comment from market organizers if shared.
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