A home cake baker asked the NBC 5 Responds team for help getting vendor fees back after a local festival was canceled during the pandemic.
Samantha Martus, a home baker who started a company called Booze Cakes in her kitchen, said she was looking forward to selling her homemade alcohol-infused cakes at the North Texas Wine and Brew Music Festival in Denton.
She signed up for the October 2020 festival, paying $225 for a booth and electricity access. On October 10, 2020, the festival’s Facebook page announced the event would be canceled – citing COVID-19. It also said more information would go out to vendors and sponsors.
Martus said she didn’t hear anything about rescheduling or refunds.
“Not one email, not an update on the Facebook page,” said Martus.
Martus said she sent messages and tried calling festival organizers, then tried NBC 5 Responds.
In an email to NBC 5, the festival wrote, in part, “We do have plans to bring the festival back this fall, as a nonprofit it’s been a challenge to get things moving again, but we are in the planning. We’ve done everything we can to answer everyone’s emails as they come in as quickly as we can. We are volunteers so during COVID, sometimes things get lost, but always take care of our vendors.”
Two weeks after connecting with NBC 5, the festival said the refund was processed. Martus confirmed the money made it into her account.
“Any bit of income that we have goes pretty much to the next event sometimes,” said Martus. “Sometimes, we're just doing it just for fun because baking is such a great hobby for me.”
The North Texas Wine and Brew Music Festival said it decided it wasn’t safe to bring the event back in 2021. It said it expected to publish a new website and event details for later this year, by the end of April.
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