On a scheduled night away from the kids, new parents Steve Bintz and his wife anticipated a great night at the Rochester Wine Festival.
“We bought tickets just after Thanksgiving,” Bintz said, “really looking forward to it.”
So were Ryan Kelly, his wife, and in-laws.
"We had just gotten home from a long stressful family vacation, and just really wanted to go out and have a nice and relaxing time," Kelly said.
They both say that wasn’t the case at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center venue Friday night.
“It seemed liked it was over populated and understaffed,” Bintz said.
“I think they sold 2,500 tickets which are good, but there wasn’t enough room to accommodate anything,” Kelly said.
The next day, dozens of attendees took to the event’s Facebook page to complain, some branding the wine festival the “line festival.”
As comments would disappear from disappointed attenders, Bintz created their own Facebook group immediately after leaving the wine festival.
"[The group] was actually done in the Uber going away from the event, and I did that because there were comments that were being posted and then deleted. Anybody taking that specific action isn’t showing that they are willing to do the right thing, at least initially," Bintz said.
Bintz and Ryan agree that the wine fest was not only disappointing, but could negatively affect Rochester’s economy.
“It wasn’t a reflection of the wineries that were there but to have a wine event in wine country that went down like this isn’t ideal for the reputation,” Bintz answered.
Organizers confirmed in a Facebook post Sunday that they are offering refunds to those who e-mail proof of purchase to firstname.lastname@example.org.