Mattyfest food

MattyFest attendees furious after Toronto chef's festival runs out of food

Toronto chef Matty Matheson managed to bring Wu-Tang Clan, The Descendents, Gogol Bordello and Danny Brown, among other iconic artists, to RBC Echo Beach on Saturday for thousands of people to enjoy at Mattyfest.

Unfortunately for those who came to eat — and, let's be real, this event was promoted as a food festival just as much as it was a music festival — his vendors didn't bring enough grub.

Attendees started complaining of sold-out food stalls around 7 p.m. on Saturday, some six hours after the festival had started, but at least four hours before it was slated to end.

The Festival issued a "food advisory" via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook around 8 p.m. to explain that more supplies were on the way.

"Committed to sustainability, we prepped limited quantities of our menu items to eliminate food waste, but know that you're a hungry bunch!" read the advisory. "We're working on getting more food to you as soon as we can. Thanks for your patience, and stay tuned!"

This did little to console people who'd already exchanged their actual cash for "Matty Money" (also called "Matty Bucks"), a non-refundable, token-style currency required to buy food or drinks inside the festival.

"Fries.... that's all there was at this event if you arrived from 6pm onward," wrote one attendee on Facebook. "Brutal planning, everyone was hungry... Wu Tang at 9:30 was it, not a food event if that's what anyone was thinking."

"Most vendors sold out by 7pm? Matty-bucks non-refundable? Y'all knew exactly how much food the vendors stocked, so you know how many Matty bucks need to be sold to sell out of food!" wrote another on Instagram in response to the food advisory.

"Kept selling the bucks even when you knew there was no food to buy! #broke&hungry."

As vendors hustled to re-up their supplies, organizers announced that Matty Money could be used to purchase official festival merchandise (which wasn't originally the case).

People who wanted food weren't down for buying hats instead. They wanted to eat — or at the very least to get their money back — and many weren't buying the "sustainability" excuse.

"All for food sustainability, but you sold more 'Mattybucks' than portions of food were available," replied one guest to the festival on Twitter. "That isn't us being a 'hungry bunch', that's really poor logistics and likely illegal."

By 9:30 p.m., at least four vendors were back open and serving food.

Attendees who didn't want what was on offer and weren't able to spend their Matty Bucks were told around 10:15 p.m. that tokens could be refunded at the box office.

With only 45 minutes left in the festival, however, many people had already left with what they thought were now-worthless Matty Money bills in their pockets.

The food situation may have been sketchy later in the day, but people did seem to be loving MattyFest prior to the mass shortages.

Did the event draw comparisons to Fyre Festival? Sure. Was it actually disastrous to the point where it deserved to be? No. Don't expect a Netflix documentary.

As one Instagram user so astutely summed up the first MattyFest at Echo Beach: "They really shit the bed on the food, but the bands were great."

Lead photo by

Lisa Power

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