Was Untappd the Fyre Festival of Charlotte—or simply a rain-delayed beer event?

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Photo by Alex Cason Photography
Untappd Beer Festival attendees wait out the storm delay inside the concourse at Bank of America Stadium.

Untappd’s inaugural beer festival had all the makings of a perfect event. It would be held in Center City in the heart of Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium, with Panthers owner David Tepper getting props for stepping up the stadium’s event planning. It was one of the most talked about festivals of the spring.

Thanks to the popularity of the Untappd app, attendees traveled from all over the country and even the world — six different countries, one beer vendor told CharlotteFive — to attend Saturday’s beer festival. Breweries, 176 from Charlotte and otherwise, would be pouring beer to reportedly 12,500 attendees.

So how did it go from being one of the season’s most anticipated events to one of the most complained-about ones? Attendees cited admission lines that wrapped around the building with few people checking IDs, long beer lines, broken cups and a lack of refunds when weather delays led to beer not being served outside for an hour and a half of the rain-or-shine event. Some patrons said they were turned away due to the storm without ever making it into the event, being told there would be no re-entry and no refunds (later, re-entry was granted, but many had left).

Complaints were coming in so fast via Twitter that the topic was trending across the United States, according to The Charlotte Observer.

Sunny start to the afternoon

Photo by Alex Cason Photography
Untappd Beer Festival

The event started with thousands of people standing in line wrapped around the stadium.

Leading up to Saturday, there was seemingly only one small glitch: the weather. Our local meteorologists had given plenty of warning about strong afternoon thunderstorms heading our way around 5 p.m.

Nevertheless, the sun was still shining when the VIP gates opened at 3 p.m. The first sign of a hiccup appeared when the promised “signature souvenir glasses” turned out to be thin, plastic cups that broke with the slightest amount of pressure. Most beer festivals include glass souvenir sample cups. “I broke my cup right away,” attendee Alyson Miller said. “I had my cup for two seconds and it cracked.”

Photo by Melissa Oyler
Untappd Beer Festival

Additionally, some attendees who paid extra for early access — $65 or $200 — told CharlotteFive the beer tents didn’t have beer when they arrived at 3 p.m.

One vendor, Keith Sparr, posted on our Instagram page that his tent for Big Boss had been set up early. “No excuse for the staff to not have everyone’s kegs to their tents on time,” he said.

For tents who had received their kegs, the beer began flowing. The lines were still short, as general access had not yet opened. Vendors took their time, explaining their craft beer to aficionados who had paid for the upgraded tickets. Homemade pretzel necklaces served as palate cleansers and sobriety keepers.

Photo by Alex Cason Photography
Untappd Beer Festival

Untappd local badge liaison Ray Boyette said bringing the festival to Charlotte was a huge step for North Carolina. It resulted in the collaboration of two of North Carolina’s great beer cities, Charlotte and Wilmington, where Untappd is headquartered. “This is their Super Bowl,” said his girlfriend, Kristin Mason.

Access delayed to ticket holders

At 4 p.m., the gates were to open for all ticket holders — general admission tickets were $50. Some ticket holders reported delays on gaining entry and some were turned away based on bag size. Others said they never did get through the line, eventually giving up and forfeiting their entry fees.

Once inside the stadium, the lines for each beer vendor criss-crossed haphazardly, with people meandering through, looking for the shortest and easiest way to sample a cold one.

The wind picked up, offering a temporary reprieve from the sun. Shortly after, phones everywhere started pinging with severe weather announcements.

Photo by Alex Cason Photography
Untappd Beer Festival

Lightning streaked behind the high-definition video boards. Then over the P.A., an announcement to seek shelter confirmed to the crowd that Mother Nature always gets her way.

By 4:45, the crowd was being corralled into the concourse as thunder and lightning boomed. Venders were told to stop serving beer. The rain began slowly and then turned into a steady downpour.

The crowd was so heavy that not everyone was able to make it inside quickly, with some in the crowd expressing worry about safety during the storm. Some attendees were still waiting outside the stadium, trying to get into the event, and they said they were turned away, being told the event was canceled and they would be unable to seek shelter at BOA Stadium.

For those who did make it inside, they found themselves without a drop (of alcohol) to drink. “So that’s why they call it Untappd — there’s no beer,” said attendee David Spears.

He and his wife had arrived at 4 p.m. and stood in lines to get just two samplings of beer before being sent indoors. “Why didn’t they just put the beer in the concourse? They knew all day it was going to rain,” he said.

People began marking themselves “Safe from Untapped Beer Festival” on Facebook. Other local beer festivals began trolling Untappd on social media.

Several started calling it the Fyre Festival of Charlotte, a reference to the infamous failed luxury music festival created by Billy McFarland and recently documented on Netflix and Hulu. While Fyre was outright fraud by the legal definition, Untapped was being called out for having poor planning and event execution.

Some ticket holders asked about refunds and said they were denied. People waited out the storm by sitting along walls and in small circles. Card tricks were played. Hot dogs, popcorn, pretzels and bottles of water were sold by the stadium’s regular vendors.

A lot of attendees gave up and left, with some posting on social media about which breweries they’d be heading to instead.

By 6 p.m., the storm was over. People were allowed to go back outside, but not yet inside the stadium.

The infamous cups

Photo by Alex Cason Photography
Untappd Beer Festival

Some vendors outside of the stadium started passing out beer again, but with one problem: the now-infamous “signature souvenir” cups were gone, either broken or tossed during the hour and 15 minute no-beer break.

Ramekins, reportedly the ones used for nacho cheese at the stadium, were handed out instead. Some guests had small punch-sized cups with Panthers written across them. Others lucked out with red Solo cups. One girl managed to score an actual souvenir plastic cup, given to her by someone from the Jimmy John’s tent, with Jimmy John’s logos displayed.

At one point, Untappd volunteers temporarily stopped handing out cups at all. “Vendors have not yet been given the all-clear to start serving beer again, so we were told to stop handing out cups,” a volunteer with a stack of red Solos told CharlotteFive.

Would-be beer drinkers walked away from the volunteer tent empty handed, wondering aloud why they’d bought tickets to a festival in which they couldn’t get beer. Attendees crowded the Jimmy John’s tent for free sandwiches. Jimmy John’s team members started throwing them out into the crowd.

Festival officially reopens

Photo by Alex Cason Photography
Untappd Beer Festival

By 6:30, however, cups began being handed out again, and the stadium doors were reopened. The sun even threatened to peek out from the clouds.

Untappd was extended by an hour, and re-entry was allowed for those who had left. Even with wet grass and another slight drizzle near the end, the crowd eventually picked back up where it had left off.

A few people said they didn’t mind the weather delay at all. “It was lightning. It was fine. I’m pretty accommodating when it comes to weather. I don’t want to get electrocuted. We got to go to the bathroom, and we got a break from the heat — we weren’t hot and sweaty,” Megan Van Fleet said.

Photo by Alex Cason Photography
Untappd Beer Festival

Nicole Pugliese said she and her friends had initially been frustrated by the festival. “We got here right at 4. I was drunk by 4:26, then I wasn’t anymore,” she said. They considered leaving during the storm delay, but she said they were glad to have waited it out. “Now I’m fine again. You have to make the most of it — it is what it is,” she said.

Given that the rest of the crowd was drinking, dancing and frolicking by that point, it seems that those who who did stay did exactly that: made the most of it.

Untappd released a statement on Sunday afternoon that included in part: “If you were turned away from entering the event during the weather delay due to stadium policy, we are deeply sorry and are working on a solution.” The entire statement is embedded below:

Photo by Alex Cason Photography
Uptappd beer festival

Did you attend the Untappd Beer Festival? What did you think? Let us know in the comments.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to add the statement from Untappd.

51 COMMENTS

  1. My wife and I were inside long enough to get 2 samples each before the announcement was made to leave the field. The cup situation was a joke, we later heard about the “souvenir “ cups breaking and decided we were lucky to get the ramekins. We chose to leave after about 1/2 hr and were told we would not be allowed back in by multiple stadium people. I am surprised they later chose to let people back in but hey good for them. I feel as if I wasted my money because even if the weather was perfect the event was overcrowded on the field, lines way too long and saw many patrons being rude by cutting in front of others that were waiting. It should have been spread out more with some breweries inside the concourse. Won’t be back if there is another attempt next year.

    • So a beer festival put on by a company whose app permits people to complain about beer results in people complaining about the beer festival. Not surprising.

  2. We waited in the line circling around the stadium and there was one (1) person checking IDs. That is no joke. Once we made it to the screening point, they ran out of cups. The line stopped for awhile because they ran out of the cups that were breaking. Appeared that someone ran to the store and bought some other small cups, different from the ones pictured in this article. By the time we got in, we saw it was packed with excessively long lines. Then they directed everyone off the field due to weather. We sampled nothing. They directed everyone through the stadium and directly out the doors saying the event was canceled and there was no reentry. Poorly planned, no back up plan for the rain that they knew was coming, no support to get people in the door in a timely way, some major breweries did not even show up…We are ready for a refund.

  3. Festival Ended Up…

    It was good. Then bad. Really bad. Some might say sh!tshow or catastrophic.
    But, after the storm stopped, extended an hour and started handing out big cups, some people even had solo cups… They saved it.
    I had an awesome time, never waited longer than maybe 10 minutes for a pour and those 10 minute waits, maybe only 4 times did that happen. I lost count, but I would say I got at least 30-40 pours.
    You can’t help bad weather, there should have been a better plan, I agree. I guess now they know for sure.

    Good job Untappd, by the skin of your teeth, you pulled it off.

  4. We had the 3 o’clock early access tickets and got in line at about 2:15. At this point they had about eight people checking IDs and were knocking it out quickly. We then waited a few minutes in line for security check and that went smooth. I had checked the website and knew the NFL’s bag policy so we were prepared for this and so were a lot of people. They then let people through the ticket gate at about 2:45. They started handing out the infamous cheap plastic cups and yes, mine cracked right away but they gave me another one. I am not adverse to plastic cups at a festival but they need to be acrylic or at least stronger than these were. WE have friends that have organized a beer festival for the past 11 years and they switched from acrylic to glass a few years ago because glass is cheaper now.

    At 3:00 they let us onto the field and yes, a few breweries did not have beer but there were plenty that did. It was already blazing hot outside when the sun was shining but the covered seating and free water helped with that. We then went out to the tailgate lot before general admission started and sampled quite a few good beers out there. They then told everyone to get inside on the concourse due to the lightning. This was actually a nice pause for us since we got to sit down and just chill for a bit. The rain really started coming down at this point but passed withing a half hour or less. We then got a notification on our phones via the app that they would reopen at 6:30 and extend the event until 8:45. We had to go down the ramp instead of the stairs probably due to safety reasons and waited a few minutes there.

    When we reentered the field they gave us huge red solo cups! The weather was perfect at this point and with breweries not wanting to take all of their excess beer home they were being very generous with the pours.

    Our group had a great experience. The only thing I can really knock them for is the cheap plastic cups and a few breweries not having beer at the start. Regarding the weather, all of the local forecasts yesterday were saying 50% chance of storms, and most of the time around here those don’t happen. They rolled the dice and it didn’t work out for a lot of people but it did for us. We had a great time and tried a few really good beers (and one really bad one).

  5. Poorly managed right from the start!

    Souvenir cups were an embarrassment, almost no beer available at 3pm(which we paid extra for access to). General admission let in early.

    I came from Vermont and even I knew a week ago that the weather was looking sketchy. Very poor planning.

    Even if all of my above observation were addressed, they was very little real food, no water stations to keep people hydrated and no room for any kind of lines in the outside area.

  6. Worst festival (of any kind) I’ve ever been to. Had one beer before we left at 6pm because of the almost 2 hour delay. Cups were a joke, hardly any staff inside the stadium to tell you what was going on when they first stopped pouring and long lines in the stadium before the storm hit. Why not set up half the beer stations in the concourse instead of having them all outside in 2 locations? Why were they able to sell food but not beer during the storm? Will never attend another one of their events. Epic failure in my opinion.

    • Completely agree! Majority of their problems had nothing to do with the weather! People enjoyed after because half the people didn’t go. It’s a joke that they are saying only 1,000 people didn’t show. Thy have no way to count that. Calling BS on they’re lame excuse of a statement.

  7. Even with perfect weather, you couldnt convince me that paying $50 to stand in line after line to have a few sips of beer was worth the money.

  8. We arrived at the stadium at 5:30, after driving an hour. We never were able to get into the stadium and was told the event was cancelled. A refund needs to be given to those that were turned away and never entered the event.

  9. I arrived to the stadium at 4:10 and the line for entry was hundreds
    of meters long. We waited for around 30 minutes, long enough to make it half the distance of the line, when people started exiting the festival saying they were no longer allowing entry to the stadium. Absolutely no one to the festival made any attempt to inform the thousands of people standing in line what they should do at this point as bad weather approached. We were left outside the stadium without shelter and no indication as to whether or not the festival would even happen or if we would ever be allowed entry to seek shelter. Ultimately we were not and had no choice but to go elsewhere to seek shelter. Those who made into the festival and waited out the rain were “frolicking” around enjoying themselves, as you put it, upon reentry because they were enjoying a festival intended for > 12,000 with only the hundreds of people who remained. There is no question in my mind that those who organized this festival scammed thousands of people out of their money. They were clearly in over their heads and could not live up to the event they promised and more importantly charged for. Yesterday’s weather was the greatest thing that could have happened to the Untapped crew because it allows for articles like this to be written, questioning their culpability and placing a scapegoat for their egregious lack of planning and greed directly in their laps. I want my money back.

  10. This turned out to be a great event. There was weather, we waited for it to pass and we’re able to get back on the field by 6:30. Those that didn’t wait out the weather are probably the ones complaining about refunds. Too bad, so sad, you should’ve waited it out! Also, the people complaining about moving the event to the concourse, would’ve been the same ones complaining that it wasn’t moved back to the field after the rain stopped. The draw of this event was to be able to be on the field.

    As for the cups, I thought they were fine as well. At other beer fests, I have received signature glass cups, sure. You had to know this wasn’t going to be the case because IT WAS ON AN NFL FOOTBALL FIELD. They don’t even allow glass into the stadium at all, so that’s pretty standard. Upon re-entry onto the field, we received full 8 ounce wine cups that were being passed out everywhere. If you didn’t get one, it’s your own fault.

    Yes there were long lines, but again that’s not out of the realm of beer fests either. I’ve been to other fests here in Charlotte that have completely ran out of beer AND had the same long lines people are whining about. It is what it is, it was a large event and that comes with the territory.

    To some, the event was always going to be lose-lose. Which is sad because with a little bit of effort and patience, you could’ve had a great time too!

    • Maybe you should read everyone’s experience before calling out those complaining as many THOUSANDS were never permitted entry or told to leave because the event was cancelled. A little empathy goes a long way. Your comments are narrow minded and judgmental.

      • True !!!
        We bought early admission
        Waited on a long line to get in
        Not enough people checking ID
        Get in , given cheap cups mine broke immediately had to go back to start to get new one, vendors didnt have extras
        Extremely long lines weaving in and out
        Then the weather
        Pure chaos, we were outside they told us to go in to concourse, they
        Stopped serving, tents down and tons of people trying to go outside at same time
        It was crazy
        Feel it was poor planning
        On events part
        We left did not wait it out observed people being turned away
        Agree may not attend another of these events
        Not whining stating facts “ just saying”

    • If you took the time to read some of the other comments you would have realized that the reason you were able to so humbly make the most of your experience was that thousands of people who paid to attend this festival were not even allowed in the stadium. You’re certainly better than all of those people though because you put in the effort and had the patience to enjoy your festival… which you were allowed entry to in the first place. Grow up.

  11. I’m thrilled some people decided to “make the most of it”, but that should not detract from the fact that this entire event was a complete and utter disaster. I purchased “Early Access” tickets for my girlfriend and I. We were at the stadium, waiting in line at 2:40 PM and didn’t actually get inside until about 3:10 PM. Once inside and on the field, we quickly discovered that only about 25% of the tents on the field had beer ready to serve to the early access-ers. It was very disappointing. By the time 4 PM rolled around and the entire general admission crowd was let in, more and more breweries on the field began to get kegs. The problem with this however, was that the golf carts bringing in the kegs had nowhere to drive due to the field being flooded with attendees. They needed to have an alley for the golf carts behind the tents in my opinion. It would have exponentially increased the efficiency for getting kegs in and out. I would go into the rest of the shit-show of an experience, but we all know how it continued to play out. We cut our losses and left at 5 PM. Upon walking out, the line to get in was even longer, it was mind boggling. I’m glad the event got better for all of those folks trying to get in later, but one thing is for sure…the first half was a complete failure and if you paid extra for early access, you basically got scammed.

  12. I arrived right at 4 and was able to get in with only 20 minutes of a wait. There were multiple ways to get in, lines on both sides of the stadium… Guess since didn’t realize this. The initial small plastic cups were flimsy, so would have been nice to have replacements available. Obviously glass want going to be permitted on the field. Initial lines before the rain were long inside stadium but not bad outside. Rain delay was unfortunate, but they can’t control the weather. I appreciated the couple updates I got via the Android app during the delay. It would have been able to get beer during the delay, but they had free soda and since food available. I actually appreciated the delay; it chased away impatient people and brought the temp down. Once it cleared, I scored a new cup with ease, enjoyed a Jimmy John’s sandwich, and beer drinking was back on. Lines were much shorter if you waited it, temp was great, and the extended hours gave us the opportunity to drink beer, on the Panthers field, under the lights. I went for the ability to drink on the field and it was worth every penny I paid. Had a great time, thanks untappd for choosing Charlotte!

  13. The issue is the event claimed a lot of things that they failed to follow through on. I won’t rehash the “souvenir” cup debacle. But the event claimed rain or shine and also live entertainment.

    Still struggling to figure out how they missed the mark on both of those. Especially with the resources you have inside the stadium and concourses.

    Anyone know what the live entertainment was supposed to be?

    • There were several bands that played inside and out. I didn’t like any of those I heard, but they checked the “live entertainment” box.

  14. People always come up with a reason to b****. If they were in the hot sun all day they would have complained about that. We had a great time we got there at about 4 we drank enough beer to get us through we waited an hour and a half and then drank more beer. The ones that were handing out beer handed out plenty of it so I think the ones that went home early left us enough beer to keep the rest of us happy!

  15. Okay the cups sucked. Yeah. That project manager is probably getting fired.
    But guys.
    The field HAD to be evacuated for YOUR safety. It wasn’t even an untappd call. It was the venue/NFL rule.
    Sure, the breweries could have been set up inside the stadium… but how cool was it to be on the field?
    People just want to complain to complain.
    I had an awesome time and I’m looking forward to future events as they will only
    Get bigger and better!

    • They had to make a call about where to set up at the beginning of the day. They made the call to set up on the field and outside, even though there was a chance of bad weather. Unfortunately there was lightning for an hour, but what can you do. Can you imagine how upset people would have been if all the breweries were crammed into the concourse when they got there and not on the field like was marketed? You can’t please everyone.

  16. my friends and i got 1 pitiful sample before being moved inside. most expensive sip of beer i’ve ever had.

  17. This was a very unprepared event. The weather report has been predicting rain storm on Saturday. The FAQ page event stated they may have the event on the stadium concourse WHICH IT DIDN’T HAPPEN! We have all of these people evacuated and packed in the concourse without even getting more than one 3-oz sample before being told to get off the field! I didn’t realize “souvenir glass” was made out of plastic. They were evacuating all the people off the field with only 4 staircases leading up to the concourse area. I have friends stuck outside the stadium, couldn’t get in. I don’t think I will go to another Untappd event!

  18. I had general admission tickets arrived at 3:45 and was in by 4pm. I thought the line moved quick ID check and security was easy. As for people complaining about bags it was clearly stated on the event page and it’s a normal at any stadium now days. I do feel the cups could have been a little better but I didn’t expect them to be glass at an NFL stadium. I came from Central New York and have attended many beer festivals the lines where what I expected and even the longest ones moved fast. Most times I was still drinking my last pour by the time I got to the front of the line. I thought the event did all they could with the bad weather interrupting the event. Did it suck to lose time yes but it would have sucked more to be standing in that storm or for someone to get hurt. Inside the stadium we had food, non-alcoholic drinks and bathrooms. Once back out I thought the vendors did a great job to keep things moving and I got a new glass right away. It took a bit for the event to announce they would extend but im sure they need to do alot of checks and balances before they can make that decision. I hope to attend this event again in the future.

  19. I had a blast. My wife gave me a VIP pass for fathers day. I saw a few breweries didn’t have beer early but their still there were other breweries flowing. All good

  20. Everyone’s experience is different, as are people’s ability to tolerate bumps in the road. Our group had a great time. We were inside by 3:15 after a few minutes in the ID line. Had a chance to get a ton of samples before the lightning delay. Waited it out on the concourse and were rewarded with lots more beer and a nice end to the evening. If people were turned away trying to enter during the weather issues that’s definitely a reason to feel upset. The rest of the issues were minor bumps in the road. Beer lines moved quickly and the number of brewery options were top notch. I feel as if those complaining about the lines, cups, and other issues like that have never been to a festival like this. There were things that could be improved but it was a good first effort, and we had a great time.

    • I’ve attended this same festival (NFL Stadium Beer Tasting) in a different city. I would tend to disagree that complaints about lines, cups, et al are minor issues. For example, I like others, paid a premium for an hour of early admission. I did not get that because the event organizer was woefully understaffed and the entry procedure was insufficient to handle the crowd size. And then they also allowed the general entry folks in early. That’s wrong.

      Untappd could have at a minimum attended one or more of these events to get it right the first time. They clearly didn’t. I am happy they seem interested in making things right. That’s a good sign. I expect next year’s event to be better.

  21. As a brewery owner, I have to say this was the worst festival that I have ever attended. We were one of the lucky ones to get our kegs before the 3:00 start, but half of the others did not get their beer until almost 4.
    We ran out of ice, and did what we were supposed to do, text our block captain. Got no response, and no ice. Kicked a half barrel keg of our beer, texted it out again, no response. Other half barrel keg kicked, and we had no beer for a half hour!!!. I had to pay for my staff to be at the event, then had to pay for their food as well. Final nail in the coffin was that we had to pay for parking. The cups were a joke, especially the nacho cheese ramekins. Not a good way to treat the breweries that are supporting the event

      • Yes, we were. In speaking with some brewery friends that were outside, they had better access to things. But there was a general idea that only the good breweries were inside the stadium, which is ridiculous. This was not planned or exectuded well

  22. I’ve attended this same event in Soldiers Field Chicago for several years. Different company putting it on of course, but exact same concept. It runs much more smoothly and professionally than Untappd did. That said, Untappd really could make a few tweeks to make next year’s event on par with the Chicago Beer Classic.

    – I had early entry and waited in a ridiculously long line resulting in actual entry 3:45pm. Hire more staff and open all stadium entrances.
    – There were too many people and the event ran longer than it needed to be frank. Split it into 2 sessions (Session 1 VIP 12-3, Regular 12:30 – 3 & Session 2 VIP 4-7, Regular 4:30 – 7). You can sell more tickets overall. Attendees do not face onerous lines once inside festival.
    – Serve beer on field and on concourse (instead of parking lot). You’d have solved the weather issue.
    – Lower VIP price point – You’d sell more tickets and perhaps regulate crowd flow and shorten entrance times. For reference, Chicago charged 1.4x General Admission. I think that is fair.
    – Better stadium operations. Get beer to vendors and be ready to go at the start.
    – Better glasses period.

    All the above said, I applaud UnTappd for pivoting during the event and being open to making things right and improving for next year. I’d attend again.

    • Maybe Untappd could use that event/planning company in Chicago. They used a company out of New York to handle the event. Between Untappd, Townsqaure Media and The Panthers Staff, it seemed like so many hands in the jar nothing got 100% ironed out.

      • You got me thinking. I checked the company that runs the Chicago Beer Classic. All they do is run craft beer festivals in the midwest and their name is prominantly displayed on the event website.

        In contrast, I cannot find the name of the New York event company on the Untappd event site nor by reasonable google searches.

        Perhaps that explains the difference in event execution this year.

  23. The lightning delay was pretty terrible. I totally understand that they can’t control the weather, but there was no communication from the festival about a weather policy prior to or during the event. I would have been fine if they’d told me to go in the concourse and given a timeline for reopening the event. Or at least a rough determination of their policy/procedure. Since it was unclear if/when the event would reopen, we left. Since they had been expecting rain and storms all week, they should have communicated a policy ahead of time so there wasn’t as much confusion and discontent when they suddenly shut things down one hour into the event.

  24. We worked non-stop. We were pouring right at 3 and until the delay, in which we were forced to stay out in the storm because attendees would not go to shelter as asked. No big deal, we got wet but was more worried about the lightning above our heads, had we went inside for shelter…we would have returned to ransacked booths. They did run out of cups, but they returned with cups 3 and some cases 5 times the size of what they started out with, so people complaining they didn’t get drunk are either raging alcoholics or they stood in lines when they didn’t need to. We would get about 4-6 deep but no one around us or other breweries had people waiting for 30 minutes (that is a joke) more like 3-5 minutes. Keep in mind we were outside the stadium in the lots, so I am not sure if the lines were more for the “inside.” But there were plenty of inebriated folks all around. The security was separate function (Stadium Security)from the untappd workers so there was some clashing about policies that no doubt caused some angry folks (we had issues as well with the stadium security when we were trying to set up and load out)Never once in the entire event did we hear one person complain about long lines. The delay was for safety, they could have easily stopped the event and not extend it as they did (they had to get approval from the ALE to do so) Were there some hiccups in the event? Absolutely, but for their first time around with volunteer staff they did very well and it will only get better. The majority of complaints are pretty damn petty but that is to be expected with an event of this size and scope. However, not to downplay the some of the responses, there were legitimate complaints that I am sure they will address and fix them as soon as they can. But for a lot of folks be thankful the security was lax on inspecting bags on the way out. There were so many event attendees stealing on the way out while breweries were trying to load out. We had to ask members of our staff to literally watch the tables to curb the loose hands lol. Some peoples bags were so full of beer, they simply stop hiding it and walked out with cans literally falling onto the ground. Pretty funny picture if you were there and saw it happening. Yeah it was a mess, but it was fun as hell and people really enjoyed the beers. It will get better with age. As far as other beer event/promoters poking fun at Untappd – I remember a lot of their early events and they were complete sh%$ shows with sloppy falling down drunks, garbage cans overflowing with beer, fights, people laying pass out on the ground and the not-so-famous “projectile vomiting – a crowd favorite lol” (just to note, from our location did not see one single incident the entire time). Overall, I hope everyone got home safe and had a good time and if you didn’t, well hopefully you got some beers later on or finished your Saturday on a fun note. Cheers!

    • Interesting perspective from the beer vendors in the parking lot. I have nothing but great things to say about the quality of beer provided and those staffing the tents. Thumps up to you for what was a long day.

      Yes, the lines inside the stadium were much longer than the parking lot lines. I would argue that drinking beer on the field was a larger draw and thus tended to pull more people. I was at the event from start to finish and never saw anything close to a 30 minute wait however the lines were unreasonably long in comparison to the previous Beer Fests held in NFL stadium events that I have attended. I think this could be remedied by having 2 or more sessions instead of 1 with everybody who bought a ticket in at the same time.

  25. This event was horribly managed and planned. I really feel like it was scam for the beginning. I went with 5 other people and we never got a drop off beer. We waited for almost 2 hours inside and then we left. We were told we could not come back in but they let other people re-enter. We were lied to from the beginning.

  26. I had a great time! The line was long – wrapped around to the fan shop – but went really quick. We may have waited 15 minutes to get in. Once in the lines were as expected but organized. We had our map and new the breweries we wanted to hit up beforehand. The the rain came, so we waited. Afterwards, the lines were short and the beer was flowing. I didn’t have an issue with my cup, actually I thought it was a good idea not to have glass like Oktoberfest. We knew going into the event that there would be a weather issue so we stuck it out, made the most of it and ended up having a great time!

  27. My son and I had a great time. Have been to lots of outdoor events so a weather disruption is not unusual. Those that were able to exhibit patience were rewarded. Though mine survived the night, the original cups were not appropriate for this kind of event.

    If the Panthers want to put on more events during the off season, they may want to look at the application of their stadium policies to determine if their strict application is warranted for every event. I think the bag and lightening polices should be strictly applied. But for a non-football capacity crowd, the entry/reentry policy resulting from weather delays should be reexamined. Though they eventually got to where they needed to be, the crowd initially received conflicting information on that issue.

    Will definitely come back next year.

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