Vendors upset over poor turnout at Sentosa event

Vendors upset over poor turnout at Sentosa event
PHOTO: CakeLoveSG

Their hopes of making a killing at a festival in Sentosa were dashed when the promised turnout by the event organiser failed to materialise.

Some vendors at the Get The Fun Out (GTFO) festival over the weekend claimed they made losses of four-figure sums.

They said they had paid several thousand dollars in rent alone, and they made less than $300 over the three-day festival that ended yesterday.

One food vendor said he had originally agreed to take part in the festival. But when he wanted to withdraw because of the recent erratic weather, the organiser threatened him with a small claims suit.

The vendor, who declined to be named, said the organiser had given varying estimates of the expected turnout, ranging from 10,000 to 300,000, to different vendors.

Admission to the event at the Palawan Green, Sentosa, from Dec 7 to 9 was free. But those who want to use the main attraction, The Beast, billed as the ultimate bouncy castle experience for adults, must buy tickets.

The vendor estimated only about a thousand people turned up over the three days, and he incurred losses of about $4,000.

He told The New Paper that he earned in three days at the GTFO event what he would have earned in 15 minutes at an event in Ngee Ann City.

Another vendor, from CakeLoveSG, said it lost more than $5,000 because of the disappointing turnout.

Some of the vendors said they had been discussing with one another on ways to take action against the organiser.

No one will say that they can guarantee a certain number... We made a bet on it, and it didn’t pay off.Mr Felix Sim, festival producer at Get The Fun Out (GTFO)

They felt that marketing was not done well, and the organisers had over-promised the expected turnout.

When TNP spoke to Mr Felix Sim, festival producer at GTFO, he said the turnout was unexpected and that his company had suffered a loss of about $50,000.

He said while it had made projections of the turnout, there were no guarantees.

He said: "No one will say that they can guarantee a certain number. We made reasonable projections based on the venue, the fact that it is the school holidays now. We made a bet on it, and it didn't pay off."

He said while the venue had been a wrong decision, the company had otherwise done everything it could to ensure that operations were smooth and did not run into any issues with logistics or licensing.

"Our biggest mistake was that we picked the wrong venue, but the people who did come, you could see on social media, they enjoyed the event a lot. We could not force customers to buy food if they did not want to," Mr Sim added.

He said that while GTFO is unlikely to give a full refund, he is open to considering suggestions from the vendors.

He said: "We really did what we co uld to make the event go smoothly; when it rained, we even gave free VIP wristbands (which allows full-day access toThe Beast) to the stalls to give out to their customers.

"We wanted the event to be a success."

This article was first published in The New Paper. Permission required for reproduction.

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