Elements EDM Festival Is Being Called This Year’s Fyre Fest

Facebook: Eammon John

Elements EDM Festival Is Being Called This Year’s Fyre Fest

Facebook: Eammon John

Music festivals can be a lucrative enterprise, but they’re also the kind of thing that requires planning and organization on a massive scale. When a festival goes wrong, it can make for deep, overwhelming frustration on the part of those who paid for tickets and delicious schadenfreude for those of us who didn’t. In the recent past, 2017’s Fyre Festival remains the gold standard for hellworld scam fests. This past weekend, though, Elements, an EDM festival in Pennsylvania, took a run at the crown.

Over Labor Day weekend, the Elements Festival brought DJs like Diplo, Bonobo, Griz, and Chris Lake to Wayne County, Pennsylvania. Unlike the Fyre Fest, Elements actually happened. Like Fyre Fest, though, Elements ended with a whole lot of disgruntled customers finding themselves in nasty and possibly unsafe situations and then complaining about those situations online.

EDM.com reports that many ticketholders showed up to the Elements Festival grounds and found “crippling logistical issues and an alarming lack of organization.” While the festival itself was starting, a Facebook group called “Elements Shit Show 2021” gained more than a thousand followers. The group is full of horror stories from people who claim that they experienced hours-long waits for parking, and even longer lines for the shuttles that were supposed to take them into the festival, with festival staff utterly baffled about where people were supposed to go.

Some quotes from those stories:

• “Those of us that made it out of there safe, uninjured, and with any scrap of our sanity or dignity- we got lucky.”

• “We waited from about 5pm-2am in that line with no water, food, or bathrooms to finally get on the shuttle. I was beyond exhausted and in pain from standing and dragging everything.”

• “Since the festival was prohibiting fires, propane grills or camping stoves into the festival, food vendors started running out of food by Friday evening. Since they were also prohibiting anyone to bring more than ‘2 gallons of sealed water’ into the grounds, the lines at the water refill stations stayed borderline inaccessible the whole weekend.”

• “On top of literally everything we all went through, let’s take a moment to talk about the staff riding around on their golf carts, with empty wagons/trailers behind it literally laughing at everyone struggling and taking pictures of us and saying ‘ha ha good luck guys’.”

• “Anyone else almost ran over by a golf cart this weekend????”

• “Someone got stuck under the slide in the lake and couldn’t get out/ thought he was going to die.”

• “Never seen more shit everywhere literally someone pooped next to my car almost stepped in it leaving also people kept shitting on all the toilet seats like it was an activity”

As EDM.com points out, another festival patron writes, “I talked to the camp security and they mentioned that a group of tents had actually set up over a sewage drain and some people were climbing over barbed wire fences to go to the bathroom because the portapotties were abhorrent.”


The festival grounds were rocked by a storm before the festival started, and some ticketbuyers have speculated that Elements also had more ticketbuyers than anticipated, thanks to the last-minute cancellation of Bonnaroo. But even with that in mind, the photos that you can see here are grim. On Reddit, one ticketbuyer is now asking for advice on “how to proceed in action against elements festival”.

UPDATE: The Elements team has shared a statement addressing the chaos at their festival last weekend:

We want to thank all of our fans, artists, and the community who attended Elements Music and Arts Festival 2021. Notwithstanding a number of issues related to the impact of Hurricane Ida, we persevered and shared many blissful moments of music and connection.

We recognize that some of you endured extraordinary wait times and discomfort getting into the festival on Friday. We apologize for these logistical issues and the disappointments they caused. There was significant damage to our parking lots from Hurricane Ida, which led to major delays into the festival. More delays were caused by precautions developed as a result of the hurricane. We were forced to change the location of the parking lots and check-in spaces due to remaining flooding issues on Friday.

The aftermath of the hurricane and the long-lasting repercussions of COVID-19 exacerbated common festival issues, including some long food and water lines and restroom cleanliness. We wanted all attendees onsite to have the best experience of all time, and we will work hard to improve.

We throw this festival because we love our community and we are heartbroken and humbled that some of you are unhappy with your experience. Like many other events over the past year and a half, there was the option of canceling at the last minute. However, we modified our plans as the damage was assessed and decided to do our best to welcome 6,800 fans and over 100 artists safely in the space.

Everyone on our independent Elements team pours our heart and soul into our events, and no one is more disappointed in what happened what happened on Friday more than we are. We are a community first, and like any community or family, when issues arise, it’s important to listen and learn so we can grow together.

Your voices matter to us.

We have set up a dedicated email address at elements2021@elementsfest.us, where we welcome your comments and will respond to every email we receive.

We will respond to everyone, including emails already sent, but please know it will take a little time. We hope that everyone who feels that our festival did not meet their expectations will email us first and try to work with us to resolve any outstanding issues…

Finally, we apologize to everyone who did not have the best experience possible. For all who attended, we hope you experienced magical moments over the 3 days. As a company and as a community, we want to learn and grow from this. We are committed to delivering the absolute best Elements of all time in 2022.

With love and respect for each and every one of you…
-Team Elements

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