After following the weather forecast for days and checking the website (https://www.gohalifaxva.com/about-sobo-brewfest) of The South Boston BrewFest all week for changes or announcements, and seeing none, on Saturday, May 11, at 1:45 p.m., I journeyed to the site of the 2019 So-Bo BrewFest, fully prepared for beer and fun and rain, if necessary. (The forecast had been consistent all week).
I had attended the first So-Bo BrewFest last year...and the weather was no worse in 2018 than it was on Saturday, May 11, 2019....(In fact, it had been worse last year; with high temps and intermittent sun that made it steamy-sweltering in between rain showers).
Besides, my paid for ticket stated clearly: “Event is rain or shine,” as did each and every article on the event in the newspapers. (You cannot get much more definite than “The event is rain or shine” as far as declarative statements go, y’know.)
I arrived at Constitution Square at 2 p.m. to find it empty, and a cheery red sign there to greet me saing “Postponed”(?) I had thought that postponement was not an option. (“Event is rain or shine.”)
This prompted several questions, such as:
1: Would it have been all that hard to make a weather postponement decision ahead of time and — just as an afterthought perhaps — let people know about it??
(Perhaps, just maybe...on the official website for the event?) … The official website at https://www.gohalifaxva.com/about-sobo-brewfest said nothing about this turn of events, not in the about page, not in the tickets page, not even in the FAQ page. (As far as frequently asked questions go, what about a postponement? would that not likely rank in there somewhere, or it should, anyway.)
2: Why did it not occur to anyone connected with this event to consider just a little pre-planning for the weather, which, after all, generally is unsettled at this time of year?
(Again — all I have seen — anywhere-stated “this event is rain or shine”...which would seem now to have been overly optimistic, if not outright fraudulent as stated intentions go.)
3: I note on my paid for ticket that the town of South Boston does not offer refunds...
(Too bad for me — and I had to hand over my money for the ticket to be able to read that notice on the ticket.)
4: If they re-schedule; How do they know that the weather will not be the same as it was on Saturday? (There’s that pesky pre-planning concept again.)
I guess the person who came up with the clever “buy-your-ticket-before-you-find-out-about-the no refunds” policy was not involved in the “what about inclement weather?” planning — or were they?
5: Hey, I threw-away $25 on this event, and I do not even get my So Bo BrewFest commemorative glass? (Okay, that was not exactly a big deal --commemorating a non-event is not high on my list of imponderables.)
Frankly, I am getting the impression that the town of South Boston could not successfully manage anything more complex than a spring backyard cook-out — (provided of course, that it does not rain...in the spring.)
I did get in touch with someone connected with the event, after checking out the volunteers page on the official website and was told the planners of this rain-or-shine -no-refunds-event had indeed notified people online...via Facebook.
Apparently, no effort was made to alert anyone foolish enough to be following this event on the official website, instead of Facebook, certainly no effort was made to amend the so-called official website, where apparently, little things like a postponement do not matter, but you can still buy tickets there.
I was also informed that — despite all evidence (such as stated-in-print intentions referred to as “important legal information” on the back of the ticket) they were indeed going to offer refunds somehow.
The sticky part here is that I (fool that I am) did not purchase my ticket online, but at The Visitor Center, where I was pointed to by the (again) so-called official event website.
Call me crazy, but after viewing that oh-so-SoBo-official website with all of its information pages and promotional facts, it just never occurred to me that I needed to go to Facebook for truths that the friendly planners of The SoBo Brewfest did not feel were important enough for the so-called official SoBo Brewfest website — such as the event being postponed.
I’m still hoping for my $25 refund.
Whatever. I’ve stopped caring.
If they cannot plan any better than this, I don’t think I’ll plan, yet again, to attend.