Kinfolks Soul Food Festival Leaves Forest Park Trashed, St. Louis Crowd Furious

Categories: News

Kinfolks has yet to respond to the numerous complaints left on its Facebook page by those who attended Saturday's show.

soulfoodfestfacebook.jpg
www.facebook.com/soulfoodfest

According to its website, the organization is holding similar festivals in 21 cities this year, with the mission of highlighting traditional soul food while bringing together families and friends for a day of reunion and award-winning entertainment.

Last summer Kinfolks held a similar all-day concert and food festival in Chesterfield with little fanfare. Though according to a 2012 complaint to the BBB, the production delays that hampered Saturday's show in Forest Park are not a first.

"My party waited three hours before finally deciding to cut our loses and not continue wasting time at a festival that lacked organization, professionalism, and a general respect for their patrons," reads the complaint from someone who attended a Kinfolks festival in Charlotte. "Since I left at 8 p.m., I have no idea of when the 'show' started or if it started. Even more frustrating is the lack of updates by the program's emcee concerning reasoning for the 3+ hour delay in 97 degree heat. I find the presentation by The Kinfolks Foundation to be embarrassing, unprofessional, dishonest and disorganized."

So where will Kinfolks Soul Food Festival take place next summer -- if it returns to St. Louis?

"At this point, based upon its operation this year, I don't believe this is a good event for Forest Park," says Bess.

Update: Below is a letter RFT Music received Tuesday afternoon from an Enid Hill, which further illuminates the problems with Saturday's festival. Hill says she has filed a complaint with the BBB and sent the following note to Huggy Lowdown and Chris Paul, emcees for the festival and members of the syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show that airs weekdays in St. Louis on Old School 95.5 FM.

"Talk about pissed! Y'all need y'alls behind whooped for hosting and being associated with a messy concert like the Soul Food Festival held in STL Sat., July 12, 2014. How can the City of STL have a 4-day fair that goes off without a hitch (over a July 4th weekend) attending to the needs of 50,000 plus people per day and the Soul Food Festival can't put on a one day concert and do the same?

There were no trash receptacles (people walked around with trash bags for you to put trash in) and even though gates were to open at 3, it was nearly 4 pm before we were allowed entry into the concert venue (so for those of us who arrived early, we stood in line nearly 2 hours). Food was overpriced and nothing to write home about. A cup, not bottle, of water was $3 and we were made to throw our water away upon entry while continually being told "be sure to keep yourselves hydrated" throughout the entire concert.

Kelly Price came on at 5 and her set ended at 5:37 but she talked 20 minutes of this time. Go to the TJMS, Wendy Wms, the View, or the Queen Latifah show to tell your life story (not that we didn't learn something about you, but we were at a concert and wanted to hear music)! She never sang one complete song, did runs like a DJ mixing at a dance party.

Here is the actual concert timeline: Kelly Price 5:00 - 5:37 / Mint Condition 6:31 - 7:07 / Loose Ends 8:22 - 8:55 / Morris Day 9:45 - 10:15 / Con Funk Shun 10:56 - 11:22 / SOS Band Midnight - 12:39 a.m. So as you can see, it took up to an hour or more, per act, to tear down & set up before the next act (while we sit in 90+ degree weather) only for some acts to fall short of their performances.

Loose Ends was horrible. They sang off key from the minute they hit the stage and once announced it still took 15 minutes before they came to the stage. We sat in total silence waiting. The most unfair aspect of this concert, besides our disappointment and inconvenience, was the fact that because it took so long between sets many people left after Morris Day (the 4th act). By the time Con Funk Shun and SOS Bank came on, the park was nearly empty and just like Morris Day, they were the saving grace of the concert but had lost much of the audience prior to coming on which was a great disservice to them as artists. I would recommend that others please reconsider before attending this concert. To think that you could bring something so unacceptable to the City of STL and expect us to settle for it is not only a disservice but a disgrace.

I have written the St. Louis Post Dispatch, The St. Louis American, 95.5, the City of St. Louis Mayor's office, and the Parks and Recreation Department that represents Forest Park to state my utter disbelief and dissatisfaction. We are not happy campers."

Beyond Disappointed,

Enid K. Hill

Email the author chad.garrison@riverfronttimes.com or follow on Twitter @chadgarrison.



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290 comments
Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker

Somebody better clean up that park....and ...yes...the Kinfolk people are to blame ....they probably signed a contract stating they would assume clearn-up responsibility. Give the next festival to a STL based company who loves our parks ....then maybe this wouldn't happen.

Aaron McCoy
Aaron McCoy

All of the attendees are barred from Forest Park forever, spread the word

Matt Cobb
Matt Cobb

most events in st louis city get trashed. hello mardi gras is number one suspect lol

Nicholas Allen
Nicholas Allen

Seriously ... ITS JUST BEEN PLAYED EVERYONE!!!! The race card , brought to you by jaded minorities since 1965.

Rick Jones
Rick Jones

You can put a dress/ tie on a pig and yet.... still a pig. Littering is littering no matter where you are and it is colorless. This is exactly the problem... people committing the problem acts and denying their guilt in righteous delusion. Also, I would allege that whoever hired this F rated company knew it and was handsomely compensated for doing so.

Paul Glandt
Paul Glandt

Obviously someone didnt do their homework if they let a company with an F rating come in and do what they did.Somebodies head should roll on this,or atleast a demotion

Jimmie Thomptson
Jimmie Thomptson

those same people trash anywhere they go, oh gosh, so sorry, I must be racial profiling..NOT

Jake VonderBruegge
Jake VonderBruegge

Sean it's funny how you really have no rebuttal. You're just talking trash (get it?). I feel like you believe that it's ok to trash Forest Park. It's not like it is actually "sacred" or that it holds some religious value; what people are saying here is that we'd rather it not get trashed and treated like garbage like North and East St. Louis \U0001f600 if we can all act civilized, we can have at least SOME nice things.

Genia Ackworth
Genia Ackworth

To think the production company is still touring around the country too.

Sean Bryant
Sean Bryant

"The Hill...? Sacred...? What kind of crazy twilight zone shit is this...?

Sean Bryant
Sean Bryant

Dog shit...? Well, maybe you ARE leaving the world cleaner than you left it...

Brian Wade
Brian Wade

I do carry a bag wherever I am walking and pick up trash, no matter where I am. I am not a clean freak, I just like my city to look nice.

Chris Hurst
Chris Hurst

Its all about respect, you've got to give it to receive it. some people just don't give a sh*t.

Audrey Weiss
Audrey Weiss

Sad that this event and the people running it mismanged things so poorly....it sounds like it took a pretty bad turn. I was there Friday night for the outdoor film festival and everyone seemed to be very respectful of The Hill ....such a sacred place in st. Louis I wish people would realize what a historic piece of land that is and treat it as such. Thank you to all the clean up crews who got the job done, to the people cleaning up after others and trying to restore it to how it was once before.... A job you wouldn't think is that difficult for grown up citizens.....citizens of st. Louis too! ....come st. L people we're better then that!

Jason Dagne
Jason Dagne

Naw I ain't no asshole that's for sure. Sorry I don't carry a trash bag with me on my walks.

Robin Robinson Richardson
Robin Robinson Richardson

When I take my dog for walks I pick up the litter that other people can not. I am not a clean freak. I am a freak that love my world and the animals in it.

Rick Jones
Rick Jones

Looks like a bunch of pigs left their garbage behind! Were there no trash cans? I didn't see anyone state that!

Les Wise Davis
Les Wise Davis

I fear that this will happen at every event at Forest park.

Jason Dagne
Jason Dagne

So Robin what your saying is that your a clean freak. So I guess when u walk passed a wrapper on the ground you'll pick it up and throw it where it belongs or do you just walk past it and be like it ain't my job to pick up after others.

missing_logicz03
missing_logicz03

tired of all these people saying these comments are racist  they turned forest park into walnut park just take a look at north stl shit the the schwag could have played here for 3 days and it wouldn't have looked like this ever been to camp ZOE 

Sean Bryant
Sean Bryant

I'm pretty sure you're NOT leaving the earth cleaner than you left it, Robin Robinson Richardson...

Allison Benoit
Allison Benoit

The attendees are definitely partly to blame. If they couldn't find an adequate trash can, they should have taken the trash they made with them. I worked a beer/soda tent at Fair St. Louis and was the closing shift on Saturday, which meant I saw Art Hill once everyone was gone. There was not trash strewn all over the hill. There might have been overloaded trash cans, but at least it was all around the trash can for the clean up crew to easily dispose of. Not saying the people who put on the Kinfolks thing shouldn't take the blame for failing to arrange for the clean-up. But anyone who attended and left trash strewn out on Art Hill should also be ashamed of themselves.

Mark Swain
Mark Swain

The participants trashed the park, the festival people just failed to pick it up.

jo0015
jo0015

Please do not blame the vendors. Vendors where required to give a clean up deposit which was returned, at least to us, after inspection of our area. We are truly sorry this occurred.

burkemper40
burkemper40

I'm mostly mad at the production company for doing such a poor job organizing the festival and taking care of the venue...they're clearly in it to put as little money in as possible, take their money and leave.  But I'm also mad at the attendees for having so little respect for their park, and at the city official(s) who had the bright idea to charge a mere $1,000 deposit for an event that size...really?  That's just asking for trouble.

Jake VonderBruegge
Jake VonderBruegge

Haha reading "all that." It's hardly a paragraph. Try reading a book "bruh"

Jason Dunham
Jason Dunham

I truly hate you John Wilkes Booth I blame you!!!! It's because of you Lincoln never got to send them all home.....

Laura Coppinger
Laura Coppinger

You rock as a patron! I always appreciated the patrons that were respectful and cleaned up after themselves. If we all work together, staff, volunteers, and patrons, we can make the festivals a great day out for all!

Brian Wittling
Brian Wittling

I don't care who you are, don't throw your damned trash on the ground!!! "No trash cans"? Awww the humanity! Obviously no scouts in the bunch... "pack it in, pack it out"!

Jake Eldridge
Jake Eldridge

Dan Carthen has it right... The screening process has to be better... You can't let company's like this come in and host events in out city! They are to blame... And those who are trying to turn it into a racial thing... Well that is exactly why STL is in the stone ages and has so many problems... Morons using ignorance for reason! I travel all over the country and even in the south people have more respect for each other... Stl needs some real leaders in all areas of life... I feel disappointed and let down time after time

Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson

Trashy people with no self respect. Reflects on their upbringing. Shameful.

Brian Jones
Brian Jones

Just clean it up and move on people,GET OVER IT. It's not that serious.

Jonathan Ruland
Jonathan Ruland

Agree. Why can't people pick up and dispose of their own garbage responsibly? This is sad

Greg Moore
Greg Moore

That's the problem... The crowd is "kinfolk"

TakeResponsability
TakeResponsability

@missing_logicz03 come on you know playing the race card is what people do when they have no better reason to explain their actions. It couldn't be that the people there should be responsible for their own actions... it's that all the rest of the rest of us are raciest. 

cherylsb1
cherylsb1

Your racist slip is showing....

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