Many attendees who bought tickets to the festival expressed their disappointment at the festival's offerings: "I booked it because I thought it'd be a fun event celebrating cheese, which I love," Kate Harrison, an author who attended the festival, said via direct message on Tuesday. "I expected cheese to buy and some tasters, plus maybe local stands."
"Instead, imagine hundreds of frustrated cheese fans hemmed into a tiny space, with insane queues for everything, and a DJ who didn't even play cheesy music," she said. "The food looked mixed -- £6+ for a toastie after you've already paid £6 to get in seemed steep... It felt like a massive wasted opportunity."
She wasn't alone. Aisling Brock, a local food blogger covering the event, expressed her dismay in a write-up titled "A Very Stinky Cheesefest." She wrote: "This post was supposed to be really fun with lots of droolworthy pictures of cheese, but the truth is that the event was so bad that I actually only snapped a pic of my raclette to prove that I actually had some cheese after over an hour of waiting!"
The conversation around the event quickly stacked up with snarky commentary, photos of long lines, depressingly few images of actual served cheese, and requests for refunds. Cheese Fest UK was also criticized for a slow response to the backlash, as well as apparently deleting negative comments on its Facebook page, which Harrison also confirmed: "The organisers' attitude on social media was rubbish, they deleted comments from the Facebook page and just gave the same stock answers about it being a celebration of 'contemporary cheese.'"