🔴 Bamboozle was poised for its first festival in 10 years in a new home

🔴 Fans increasingly became upset at a lack of promised big names in the lineup

🔴 Atlantic City pulled the plug when organizers didn't file for permits

ATLANTIC CITY — A failure to file applications was the death knell for Bamboozle festival when the city of Atlantic City refused to issue a final permit.

An online message Friday morning from organizers of the  festival scheduled for Atlantic City's Bader Field Sunday, May 5 through Sunday, May 7 announced the cancellation, offering refunds at the point of purchase.

"After extensive discussions, we have made the heartbreaking decision to cancel Bamboozle 2023. An incredible amount of time, dedication, passion and hard work was invested into making this comback a success," read the announcement. The website and social media were devoid of any other posts or content.

Bamboozle cancellation annoucement
Bamboozle cancellation annoucement (Bamboozle)

Back after a 10 year absence

The concert was supposed to be a new beginning for the festival which had not been held since 2012 in Asbury Park. More than 70 bands had been announced with tickets and VIP packages on sale. The first Bamboozle festival was in 2003 at the Stone Pony and then moved to the parking life of the old Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands before returning to Asbury Park.

Then the wheels started coming off as fans started referring to the festival as "scamboozle" after expensive early tickets did not lead to any headliners, according to a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The biggest announced names were Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach, and Motionless in White.

An Instagram account called Scamboozlefest highlighted festival founder John D’Esposito threatening ticketholders who complained about the lineup. D’Esposito tried enticing fans with upgrades and merchandise.

Division of Consumer Affairs spokesman Robert Rowan told New Jersey 101.5 that at least 22 complaints had been received about the festival when D'Esposito refused to issue refunds.

The final nail was the lack of response to a request from the city for certificates of insurance, an emergency evacuation plan, a medical plan, mercantile license fees and a facility fee. A letter from the city solicitor gave a deadline of Thursday at 4 p.m. to comply or the event was subject to cancellation.

When no response came, the city pulled the plug.

"We asked for this information months in advance to protect the city and the taxpayers of Atlantic City. The event was fast approaching, and these issues were still unresolved. Therefore, my office established a reasonable deadline for festival organizers to submit the required documents to the city," City of Atlantic City Business Administrator Anthony Swan said in a statement.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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