Hundreds of revellers have been left disappointed and “disgusted” after an Oktoberfest event at Tobacco Dock was cancelled with organisers apparently unable to cope.
The drinking session today (October 9) was also cancelled just minutes before the doors were due to open on Oktoberfest London. A question mark hangs over the rest of the event, which runs to October 11 with some people wondering if they will get their money back.
The event’s website simply carries a notice reading: “Due to unforeseen circumstances the OktoberFest London event has been cancelled. The company is accessing [sic] the situation and further information will be provided as and when it becomes available.”
The Tobacco Dock, which did not organise the event, is advising disappointed customers to contact their ticket agents regarding refunds, some of which will run into hundreds of pounds. Tickets were £10 but some VIP tables were available at £1,000.
The organisers issued a notice on Facebook: "Important update: The afternoon session today (Friday 9th of October) from 12PM to 5:30PM has been cancelled. Further updates regarding refund will follow. Please don't make your way to Tobacco Dock!!!!"
Eyewitnesses said that security had “struggled with thousands of punters waiting to get in”.
Steve Farrugia, who works at Trinity Mirror in nearby Canary Wharf, paid £375 for tickets. He said: "Six of us have been looking forward to this since July, and now we've had the rug pulled from under our feet.
"We paid for a good night out, and I feel we'll be lucky if we see the full amount refunded to us. Though going by the reviews from last night's shambles, I'm glad it hasn't gone ahead."
James Potter, 44, had a VIP table for 10 booked for the afternoon OktoberFest session. He told the Evening Standard: “I am now standing here at Wapping Tube station and all my friends are en route. Some have come from Nottingham for this.
“We have a table for 10 VIP places booked and it has just been cancelled with no explanation. It cost us £600. It is unbelievable. Totally unbelievable.”
Other witnesses said the event descended into chaos on opening night with barmaids too scared to go back in a room where hundreds of angry people were flinging beermats.
Meanwhile, another Oktoberfest event is going ahead as planned. Millwall Park is running the second of its four-day weekends in a tent that caters for 3,000.
A statement on its website said: "We have no relation with OktoberFest London this is another operator. Our event is still going on in London as it did the last five years. See you this weekend in Millwall Park."
In a bid to capitalise on the cancellation nearby pub The Dispensary in Aldgate had decided to extend its own Oktoberfest by a day to mop up some of the affected.