Solfest 2023 Punta Cana canceled at last minute as concert promoter Music Getaways, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino blame each other

CHICAGO (WLS) — What should have been a dream vacation for many is now turning into a nightmare after a music festival was abruptly canceled.

Billed as an R&B lover’s dream vacation, SolFest Punta Cana is one of several three-day music and comedy festivals put on by promoter Music Getaways in beach destinations.

But even as their website still shows an active countdown clock indicating the fest is officially underway, it’s not. The concert was cancelled at the last minute, to the point where many of those going were less than a day away from getting on their flights.

“I feel like all packed and nowhere to go,” April Ellison said. “Imagine, anticipating this trip for months actually. My husband put this trip together for us in celebration of our 21st anniversary.”

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The cancellation emails, which were sent out around midnight Saturday by Music Getaways, blamed the host venue for the abrupt notification, saying: “We sincerely apologize for this sudden inconvenience; we are also taken aback by this news and are working diligently to overcome this obstacle as quickly as possible.”

That email was quickly followed up with a statement from Punta Cana’s Hard Rock Hotel, which places the blame squarely on Music Getaways. The statement said the promoter failed to pay for the block of rooms they had booked.

Would-be attendees say they are now out thousands of dollars.

“We thank God we weren’t down there. Because we know people that went down there early,” Carol Gage said. “The hotel told them that they don’t have not, they don’t have any hotel room for them. They were not booked.”

“I feel like we just got robbed,” would-be concert-goer Daniel Burford said. “I’m out $3,500, I feel like I was robbed.”

In their cancellation email, Music Getaways asked for people’s patience, offering customers the possibility to transfer their booking to an upcoming event in Cancun. The promoter has not directly responded to our requests for comment.

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