The show will not go on at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club. Less than a day before the Santa Barbara Polo and Wine Festival was supposed to kick off, the second annual event was abruptly canceled with little to no explanation.
“I thought this can’t be true because we’re, it’s like a day away, this can’t be true,” said Austin Dunn of Phoenix Arizona.
Back in May, Austin Dunn jumped at the chance to see ZZ Ward in concert.
“I thought well this is going to be a great opportunity to go to Santa Barbara, see the great musicians, taste the great wine and polo, can’t go wrong,” said Dunn.
But things did go wrong.
“I woke up this morning and the event website that I bought the tickets from emailed me at like three in the morning saying it was canceled,” said Dunn.
After a 7.5 Hour drive from Arizona, Dunn is now out close to a grand.
“The whole trip was based on that one event so Air BnB cost, cost to drive over here that’s the most inconvenient piece I would say,” said Dunn.
On Thursday the festival posted on Facebook “see you all on Saturday” but then they issued a statement on Friday:
“It is with deep regret that we must announce the cancellation of the 2018 Santa Barbara Polo and Wine Festival due to unforeseen circumstances.
We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. The Santa Barbara Polo and Wine Festival is a separate entity from the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club. For refund status and questions please reach out to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
As a small independent festival, we sincerely appreciate your support.”
Summerland Winery brought in extra wine from their warehouse to serve at the now-canceled event.
“We had to go put it back because we can store it all here,” said Juan Ruiz, Summerland Winery.
Staffing has had to be adjusted and now Ruiz has the day off.
Ruiz says most of his customers were planning on attending the Polo and Wine Fest and now they’re trying to make alternative plans for Saturday.
“It’s definitely the talk of the town right now,” said Ruiz.
Sources tell us the cancellation was due to a lack of ticket sales and ticket holders like Dunn were instructed to contact event organizers for a refund, he says he’s yet to receive a response.
“I do hope that they explain themselves a little bit more because I do feel like, out of respect they should,” said Dunn.
The festival’s website indicates that Castle Field Entertainment is affiliated with the event.
We’ve reached out to event organizers and have yet to hear back.
It is important to note that the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club is not affiliated with this event.
The club is offering free entry to an exhibition match Saturday at 3:00 p.m. with discounted drink specials.