Contra Costa Venue Cancels Inaugural XO Music Festival

A new three-day event called the XO Music Festival has been canceled by officials from the Contra Costa Event Park, just days before the festival in Antioch was supposed to kick off.

The status of the first-time event is unclear as it was scheduled to begin tomorrow, with ticketholders paying $375-$2,495 for access to a music festival experience boasting carnival rides, comedy, and culinary stages. Musical acts on the lineup (see full poster below) included rappers Ludacris, T.I., the Bay Area’s Mistah F.A.B., and Vanilla Ice, among many others. Obvious comparisons are being been made to Fyre Festival, the luxury music event disaster from last year in the Bahamas co-organized by rapper Ja Rule.

Contra Costa Event Park CEO Joe Brengle has claimed the XO Music Festival’s promoters did not fulfill contractual obligations, despite paying $27,000 to rent the facility. Brengle contends that “in the best interest and safety of our facility, event attendees and the City of Antioch have no choice but to cancel the XO Music Festival” and directed refund inquiries to the XO Music Festival promoter, World Class Entertainment’s Sami Habib.

Festival organizers argued that poor ticket sales and “negative media reports” are the reasons behind canceling the event. Nonetheless, the organizers remain determined to bring the new festival to the Bay Area, mentioning that the event has been “postponed to another time to be announced at a future date.”

Rumors swirled about legitimacy since it was first announced. Festival organizers used stock images and recycled art from other events to promote over 100 music acts performing across seven stages in an “ultra VIP” environment. This included surprise guest appearances by the cast from old MTV television show, “Jersey Shore.”

As the event date drew closer, artists on the lineup began canceling their appearances for a variety of reasons. Dance-pop band Will to Power pulled out of the lineup after the promoters failed to send contracts and deposits. Rock group the Big Fit said the festival organizers asked the band to provide their sound and lighting for the event using a talent-for-hire site called GigSalad. Another event participant paid organizers $10,000 up front to rent a stage for their performance and have yet to be refunded. Festival sponsors have also claimed fraud.

Ticket distributor GrowTix, which handled tickets for XO Music Festival, said all ticketholders will be refunded immediately because funds were never distributed to the festival, and were instead held in case of the event’s cancellation. The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office has already received enough inquiries from concerned ticket holders that it posted an advisory that directs people to contact its Consumer Protection Unit.

If you did buy tickets, KRON 4 is also currently working on a story and can be emailed at [email protected].


Written by Carlos Olin Montalvo

Follow me @carlosolin