Monstrous Festival, a children’s event held at Printworks, has received a flurry of complaints, with parents demanding refunds.
Numerous complaints have been voiced via a dedicated Facebook group, but Access also received emails from visitors keen to highlight the event’s failings.
Customers complained of long queuing times after spending up to £32.50 a ticket for the festival as well as poor organisation, and activities that were below expectations.
Mother of one Elizabeth Nixon told Access: “We were promised seven ‘magical zones’, what we got was missing attractions and some very unhappy children. My son was most looking forward to the gaming ally with 1000s of consoles and competitions and in his words: ‘It was rubbish, there were no competitions and hardly any consoles’.”
“Elsewhere, Chelsea Football Club hosted a soccer school. This was essentially queuing for half an hour to kick a ball into a blow up goal keeperless goal. He was also looking forward to the laser tag and fun fair which were amongst a long list of attractions that were not there. ’The Beast’ was advertised as 272 metres long and surrounded by 10 bouncy castles. In fact only half (if that) turned up, and it was then split in two and the 10 bouncy castles were actually three and were nowhere near either section on the Beast.
“I also upgraded my ticket to VIP so I could have access to the VIP beach which must have been one of the magical zones…fairytale land as it did not exist! VIP also allowed you to stay the 1.5 hours between the morning and afternoon session and have the place to yourself, however EVERYTHING shut down and there was not enough seating for everyone who was waiting around.”
Meanwhile, child minder Charlotte Kelly-Skinner told Access: “For the past six months I have received some sort of correspondence almost daily. Wow, they built up the suspense! And made this event sound like the most magical and sensational event of all time…
“I didn’t actually have high expectations for the actual location, I knew it was a warehouse so was not surprised by the decor of the ceilings or some of the bare walls. I was however expecting there to be clear zones “over 7 amazing worlds”. They quoted a “Princess and Unicorn Land” complete with “flower wall” this was just a flower arch, no wall, no enticing land in fact the decor was just mediocre. We were expecting an “enchanted forest” but instead found queues of impatient people all complaining and very little magic.”
Stacey Andrews added: “There were hardly any staff. It was dark and dirty. Very poorly organised. [I] Was made to arrive 30 minutes early to stand in the rain with children. We were all drenched. The “beast” was the biggest reason my eldest wanted to go and it was half the size as pictured online. The game room didn’t have what they promised with ones advertised missing and they promised completions which didn’t exist leaving my son disappointed, and the magical unicorn… Well that was laughable. Queues were so bad as they clearly just took peoples’ money without caring how many people they filled that warehouse with.”
A spokesperson for Monstrous Festival said: “First of all we would like to thank all our guests who attended Monstrous Festival. This was our first year and whilst we worked hard to ensure the festival was successfully delivered, we did unfortunately have some major issues regarding queuing. For that we are sincerely sorry.
“After much deliberation we decided to split our giant inflatable into two sections across two floors to ensure the activity had a sufficient amount of room.”
“We are collating all feedback and currently in the process of ensuring that all our guests’ concerns are addressed as swiftly as possible.”