This weekend, Full House Productions out of Charlotte, North Carolina is running the first Carolina Country Music Festival in Myrtle Beach. As a local, I often promote events coming to the area as well as attractions in the area aimed at the millions of tourists that pass through each year. I was excited when I first saw the announcement – the festival was being billed as the “the Southeast’s premiere outdoor country music festival located on the shores of Myrtle Beach.” The dates for the festival – June 5 to June 7, 2015. Unfortunately, Myrtle Beach has become known as the area that tries to get as much money from it’s visitors as it possibly can and it seems this festival is joining right along with that reputation.
In mid-January I contacted Full House Productions to be placed on their media list for the event. Again, as a local my feeling was this would be a great event that could be promoted year round to bring tourists back to the area. Almost immediately I was placed on the event media list and began promoting the event. Sometime in April there was a huge slow-down in press releases. Since I deal with promotional type companies and events all the time, I found this odd. One would think that press release information would grow not dwindle the closer it got to the event. Locals were complaining about the cost of tickets:
- 3 Day Super VIP – $1299 All the perks of a 3 day GA; Front Row Stage Level Viewing Area; All Food & Beverages served in the VIP area are included; VIP entrance; Private bathrooms in the VIP Area.
- 3 Day Main Stage VIP – $349 All the perks of a 3 day GA; Access to Main Stage Private Viewing Area Located directly in front of the stage. Viewing is first come, first serve; Access to Private Bathrooms in the VIP Area; Access to Private VIP Cash Bar in the VIP Area; Food is not included, for an all inclusive package order the SUPER VIP Ticket
- 3 Day GA – $199 – 3 day pass; Access to 2 stages of music (not headliners on main stage); Tons of fun, free activities; The Beach (we live in South Carolina people! The beach is FREE!!!); Reentry all weekend.
So for $199 you can come in for 3 days and have access to the beach, which you have access to for free all the time anyway and access to 2 stages of the NON-HEADLINER performers! Are you kidding me?? There are also a couple of other less expensive options that offer even less and basically a waste of money.
On top of these ticket prices ONE WEEK PRIOR TO THE EVENT Full House Productions announces to the public the following: Parking is limited so festival goers will have to park about 4 blocks away at the site of the old Myrtle Beach Mall. Understandable. Myrtle Beach is, after all, a city. There is a municipal multi-tiered parking garage nearby that evidently they won’t be allowing anyone to use – why you ask? So did I. The answer: parking at the festival parking site will shuttle you from your car to the festival area. They list this as a “10 minute shuttle ride.” Really! I could walk it in under 5 minutes. But here’s the real kicker – parking fee: $50 PER PERSON! Yes, you read that right. PER PERSON. Not per car – PER PERSON. So if 4 of you drive together – $200 to park your car and take the shuttle. Guess what? Even if you don’t take the shuttle and decide to walk – too bad! $50 PER PERSON to park your car!
Now, lets add to all of the above locker rentals with charging stations – $45 for the 3 days or $15 per day. But – Lockers with charging stations are only available to VIP ticket holders. Also – you don’t get to keep your phone if it needs charging: “simply drop off your phone at our Phone Charging Valet located inside the locker tent, get a valet ticket #, and then pick up your charged phone before your favorite artist heads on stage! It’s that easy!”
No one is allowed to bring in backpacks or bags. So, forget about bringing in your own water. Thirsty – buy one of their over-priced drinks or be thirsty. Yet, this organization had the nerve to advertise in the area for VOLUNTEERS to work for them for a one day ticket. But in order to volunteer and work for that one day ticket – YOU HAVE TO PAY THE $50 PER PERSON PARKING FEE TO GET THERE!
One week prior to the event, on the same day they announced the parking costs, a totally different company – Whirlwind Creative also out of North Carolina sends a bulk e-mail addressed to “To Whom It May Concern,” notifying media there will be no media access. That’s right – all the sites that promoted their event for free are not being allowed into the event. They will however provide media with high resolution photos so they can write about the wonderful event. Another – Are you kidding me? Why would I, or anyone else, write about your event when you in essence have stolen free advertising from us?
When I received the bulk “To Whom It May Concern” e-mail last Friday I replied how unprofessional the entire thing has been run. I, along with others, cleared schedules to attend and continue to promote their event. I indicated in my reply that I had received an e-mail on January 29, 2015 indicating media access. I received a reply almost immediately stating they would “check with Mike at Full House Productions” and get back to me – I’m still waiting!
I’m sure they have sold many tickets. Not because of their promotion but because many of the headline artists have strong and loyal followings. Because of that, Full House Productions will foolishly think the event was a success. As a resident of the area and one of the media that was treated poorly – I don’t believe they are a success at all. I can’t speak for anyone else but I know I will never work with this company again. Some will say this is sour grapes. Not at all. Apart from having to re-arrange my schedule nothing is really lost. Just fair warning to others to be careful who you work with.
About Full House Productions from their website: Full House Productions is a premiere entertainment and production company specializing in the restaurant, nightlife, entertainment and hospitality industries. From producing concerts with the music industry’s biggest stars to partnering with restaurants and bars to achieve their marketing goals, Full House Productions excels in creating, planning, consulting and executing successful events, campaigns and strategies for a variety of clients.
About WhirlWind Creative from their website: At WhirlWind Creative, we are a family of imaginative thinkers and ambitious go getters ready to lend our passion and enthusiasm to your business. WhirlWind Creative is where creative originality mixes with rabblerousing camaraderie to provide you with the most innovative marketing, web and design techniques available. You make the wish and we’ll bring the wind.