Soul Fest’s Park Mess

The director of parks in St. Louis is fuming over a recent soul food and music festival that left a city park a mess.

The Kinfolks Soul Food Festival featured funk and soul music at the city’s Forest Park but was also wracked by long delays and loads of trash.

“The event was a disaster,” Parks Director Gary Bess told the Post-Dispatch. “It was poorly organized. It was not very well attended. There was no effective plan to clean up the site. The production of the event itself was totally unacceptable.”

The fest opened its gates late, set times dragged and the event was eventually shut down by police at 12:45 a.m. – two hours after it was supposed to end, the paper reported.

The parks department also fielded noise complaints from nearby theaters and venues hosting events of their own.

Then, there was the mess. Kinfolks apparently didn’t provide enough trash cans, had no clean-up crew after the concert, and Bess said he arrived to “a couple hundred cubic yards” of trash the morning after the show.

Among the fest’s performers were Morris Day & The TimeSOS BandKelly Price, and Confunkshun.

Kinfolks Foundation CEO Pat Williams told the Post-Dispatch mistakes were made, but added the festival wasn’t entirely to blame.

“We’re not perfect,” he said. “We wanted to give the people a show to the best of our abilities and we prided ourselves on coming back. This is not our history. This is not who we are.”

He attributed the delays to another event the night before that kept his crew from accessing the space until the morning before the fest, and said a company he’d hired to clean left the park after the event and did not return until noon the next day.

The parks department doesn’t plan to invite Kinfolks back next year, the paper said.