Dear Portland Taco Fest attendees and ticket holders, we are listening, we want to address your concerns and clear up some misconceptions. Yesterday, we had a great event planned for you. The fact is there were some key issues that made the event fall short in a lot of peoples minds. For this we are deeply sorry. We are not making any excuses, take full responsibility and want to be transparent.
There have been some interesting descriptions of our motives and character circulating. We’re not a giant corporation with unlimited resources making a mountain of money; we’re a small team that produces concerts and festivals that benefit non-profit organizations. This is the first large event we have produced in Portland and just had issues connecting with the correct people to make this a great event. In may ways we became a victim of our own success.
Our job as event producers is to bring a base for the event. The ticketing, infrastructure and marketing. We bring on local partners to benefit from the event such as every food vendor and contractor that was in attendance.
– We experienced technical issues with the infrastructure routing power that effected the vendors’ prep time at the start of the day, as many of them use traditional cooking methods. With 3,000 people showing up all at one time they were very busy to say the least. This is not their fault. Everyone was amazing and worked as hard as possible to get everyone served and we thank them for that.
– Our signage on vendors maybe wasn’t as clear as it should have been, which mislead people into thinking there were only 2 taco vendors. ALL VENDORS OFFERED A TACO OPTION so ironically there were plenty of tacos when the lines were heading to only a few trucks. No food vendor was booked for the taco fest unless they were serving tacos.
– We have heard some say that all vendors ran out of food. This is not true. Every vendor we had was a professional and prepped accordingly. We made it clear to them that we would have a lot of people and they rose to the occasion. One vendor that served over 1000 tacos had to close momentarily to restock but was back up within the hour. It is unfortunate that some will attack them as they did such an amazing job.
– We understand that the lines were long and it was very hot. This is an unfortunate side effect from any event that draws large amounts of people. If there was any way for us to change that we would. We heard from many people that stayed through out the day after the lunch rush that had a great time. We appreciate that very much and just wish everyone would have stayed and enjoyed the rest of the day.
Regarding comments about the festival’s theme, cultural appropriation and race: we take these comments very seriously, particularly in the current political climate. Taco Fest is founded and run by my self of Mexican descent, my partner an African American, and a very diverse mixed-race team. This is something dear to me as it is my culture that is in question. Just as all other Mexican-Americans I grew up enjoying this great food and culture with my family and really love the fact that it is shared by so many. TacoFest is our collective dream that we’ve made into a reality. While it’s absolutely a work in progress, the purpose is to have fun and enjoy a diversity of people, food and activities. Much like Cinco De Mayo, St. Patricks day and all the other culturally centered celebrations we feel there is nothing wrong with celebrating something as universally loved as the taco together with all ethnicities as a way to bring people together.
The bottom line is a combination of these and many other elements caused a snowball effect, and for that we apologize. Again we take complete responsibility and are not trying to make excuses. We just ask that everyone understand that we had no malicious intent. We really just wanted to bring a fun event to the amazing city of Portland. Thank you all for the great response to this event! We wish we could have made everyone’s day as amazing as we all hoped it would be.