Hordes of Manhattanites starved for Smorgasburg's vendors descended upon Summer Stage in Central Park on Saturday night, only to be sent home. Cops turned away hundreds of disgruntled people starting around 7 p.m. when the space hit capacity only two hours into the event and two hours before it was slated to close, reports Gothamist. The Smorg' team later admitted that it had no idea that such an insane number of people would show up:
Many disgruntled would-be visitors turned to social media to berate the pop-up, which was rumored to be a test run for a full-blown regular market in Central Park.
@smorgasburg @SummerStage Ridiculous. Waste of an hour long trip, most of which was trying to find my way around central park. Wtf!!!— Maggie Jiang (@wqjiang) September 20, 2014
@smorgasburg @SummerStage Epic Fail. First attempt and last.— A. Jung (@AlexJungDesign) September 20, 2014
On Facebook harsh commenters doled out posts like: "Good job with the event in Central Park you fucking idiots. How do you have a free event in the park and expect no one to go." Another person commented: "Third graders from Idaho had to have planned this event. How could anyone be this clueless?...I watched THOUSANDS be turned away."
For its part, The Smorgasburg team offered a long heartfelt apology on Facebook:
"To everyone who attended our Central Park event last night, we are deeply sorry for how it turned out, and for the inconvenience it caused so many people....Despite not being heavily marketed, the event ended up attracting many thousands of people, far beyond our expectations. We reached capacity at the venue by 6pm-far quicker than expected-and it became clear that the thousands more waiting on line at that time were not going to get in. The only responsible decision, which we arrived at with SummerStage and the Police Department, was to disperse the crowd by being honest that entry just wasn't going to be possible last night. We feel terrible."
And despite the disastrous end, co-founder Eric Demby tells Gothamist they may give the event another shot next year: "We definitely see the potential to do this again next year, but it will have to be done differently."