kultureland festival

People in Toronto furious after music festival makes major changes at last minute

Summer in Toronto is known for its many food and musical festivities, and while the last two years prohibited any such events, 2022 was billed as the best summer yet.

But this weekend's Kultureland Fest at the Markham Fairgrounds (and Ajax Downs Racetrack) was far from a dream come true, with venue changes and last-minute cancellations.

Let's start at the beginning.

Kultureland was billed as an event that blends the "sounds and cultures that produce some of best artists from around the world and offers music fans a two-day experience unlike no other in the city."

Headliners included chart-topping artists Jhene Aiko and Burna Boy.

It seemed the festival started off on the right foot with Burna Boy, who delivered an explosive and wildly entertaining set on Saturday night.

Social media agreed, with many saying the performance was the jewel of the festival.

But it seems that's where the positives end and negatives start to take off.

For unknown reasons, the festival changed locations for Sunday, some 40 kilometres away to the Ajax Downs Racetrack. This was announced at 4:10 p.m.

This is when some festival-goers started to cry foul and compared the mess to the infamous Fyre Fest, which notoriously promised people a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the Bahamas only to be met with ham sandwiches and tents.

Some fans demanded refunds and were very disappointed while others used laughter to express their situation.

Festival goers who arrived at the Markham Fairgrounds were turned away (sometimes by police) and told the venue had been changed.

As with every multi-day music festival, some fans had driven hours to attend and also booked hotels or airbnbs. With the news of the venue change, people were furious.

But things just continued to get worse.

Due to technical difficulties in Aiko's show that "required a level of visuals" that organizers couldn't "technically produce in a short period of time," her set was cancelled entirely.

"Our headliner for the night will not be able to perform. As we all know Today has been a wild sequence of events, however it is our intentions to give you the best experience we can offer; despite the circumstances."

Many fans say they were told by festival promoters and organizers that Aiko was going to perform up until the last-minute.

It also is alleged that fans paid hundred of dollars for VIP access and were met with less than extravagant conditions. Complaints rolled in about long lines, ticket malfunctions and excruciating heat. 

Some artists dropped out of the festival entirely too and it is alleged Kultureland didn't release the set times for their acts.

"Due to circumstances out of our control, Stonebwoy, Fireboy, Lojay and Kamo Mphela will not be able to perform today," read a message from Kultureland's Instagram.

One positive was the available food, which seemed much more substantial and seasoned than Fyre Fest's menu.

It is not entirely known what happened that lead to these drastic changes. Some allege funds weren't paid while others say the festival was a scam to begin with.

All comments have been turned off on the Kulture Land Fest Instagram page.

There has yet to be a formal statement about what happened this weekend either.

Here's hoping fans can get some kind of refund. Or explanation to the disastorous weekend. 

Lead photo by

@sarahesarkis



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