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The Hudson Music Project: When Good Festivals Go Bad

by The Festival Lawyer | @FestivalLawyer Thu July 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM

If the first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have one, then the Hudson Music Project took that all important first step today, issuing a public apology to those who attended this year’s inaugural event. 

Many festival goers who attended the music and arts festival in Saugerties, NY complained of “overly intense” security for the event. Attendees were subject to a car security check, then a campground security check, and then a venue check when trying to get into the festival itself. The combination of drug dogs, police on horseback, drones, undercover officers and multiple searches caused some to complain they felt they were "being treated like criminals" at the festival. 

Festival goers also complained that organizers of the fest seemed woefully unprepared when a storm hit the area and caused the last day of the festival to be cancelled. Hundreds of cars were left stuck in the mud and the exit from the festival was described as completely chaotic and disorganized. 

In their "Open Letter to the Fans," the festival addressed these complaints and admitted that "some staff acted inappropriately, especially in the heat of the moment during the storm." The festival also agreed that, "Overall the operations of the event were not up to our high standards and for this we are extremely sorry." 

In addition to the apology, The Hudson Project repeated their promise to give full refunds to patrons who attended the event only on Sunday. 3-day ticket buyers will receive a 33% refund, and 2-day buyers will receive a 50% refund. Details as to how to obtain the refund will be announced shortly, so check the website.

As part of the apology letter, the organizers asked for specific feedback from those who attended the festival. If you had a negative experience at the festival or have general feedback, please tell the organizers about it using this link.

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