Chaos Erupts After Taco Festival Runs Out of Tacos

The festival was already being criticized on social media for perceived cultural insensitivity.

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Sep 1 2017, 2:00pm

Photo via Flickr user thedlc

You might not have a ton of expectations when you head to a taco festival, but there's one promise that is unquestionably being made to the attendees: that there will be tacos. But when that covenant is broken, brace yourself for outrage.

A taco festival that took place in Portland on Saturday got ugly when vendors ran out of food far earlier than expected—a mere 90 minutes into the event—and the crowd turned on them.

Attendance to the festival cost $17.50, and on its Facebook page, caps-lock-heavy organizers promised "Portland's LARGEST celebration of the beloved TACO!"

"We are creating a full weekend of fun and food. Join your family and friends along with several thousand other TACO lovers to enjoy a carefully crafted group of the best TACO creators in the whole city. ALL IN ONE PLACE!" they wrote, adding that festivities would include tequila tasting, live music, Lucha Libre wresting, and even a "Chihuahua beauty contest."

Before the festival even had the chance to disappoint everyone IRL, many locals were already disconcerted by what they perceived to be an insensitive and stereotypical representation of Mexican culture, as issues like cultural appropriation are already a sensitive topic in Portland. Latino-focused digital media site Mitú to called the festival "just another example of the Pacific Northwest's tone-deaf, casual racism" before it even began, but things only got worse.

READ MORE: The Truth Behind that Now-Iconic Photo of the Fyre Festival 'Sandwich'

When the wheels hit the road on Saturday, festival-goers were greeted by massive lines, long waits, and, ultimately, a taco shortage. The Sunday event was cancelled entirely. Since then, Portland Taco Festival's Facebook page has become a whipping post for organizers, who didn't bother mentioning the cancellation on social media.

Some festival-goers demanded a refund while others opted for memes as visual representations of what local media deemed to be an "epic fail."

"What time does the rioting start? I need to iron my Lucha Libre mask," one user posted on Portland Taco Festival's wall, while another railed, "Since today was cancelled I want my fuckin money, plan accordingly next time you fuckin twats" and another asked, "How are comments still not disabled? This is now like watching a car crash in slow motion for 24 hours."

Over in Twitter land, things were characteristically even more dramatic and offered a real-time glimpse into a festival meltdown, sadly reminiscent of what we saw during that other "epic fail" known as Fyre Festival.

But unlike Ja Rule's doomed festival at least no one was stuck on an island for days and disgruntled festival attendees had plenty of options in the surrounding area. (Need some? Check out the MUNCHIES Guide to Portland.)