The ACE Family is facing backlash for failing to deliver on their promises of Ace Fest.
Austin McBroom and Catherine Paiz announced the Ace Fest in March of this year— a one-day festival organised by the popular family vloggers offering games, amusement rides, food, and a chance to meet The ACE Family.
The duo promoted the festival as Disneyland meets Coachella that would draw in a crowd of up to 20,000 fans. VIP tickets inclusive of the meet and greet cost up to $500, with the opportunity to attend all Ace Family events through 2022 and the chance to be picked to attend Austin and Catherine’s upcoming wedding.
Ace Fest was initially labelled a “scam” by critics
Leading up to the festival, people grew increasingly skeptical of the ACE Family’s claims that tickets were sold out.
YouTuber MadCaster shared his thoughts on why Ace Fest was a “scam” in a video posted on April 12th— showing that his friend added one million tickets to their cart of both the Club Pass and VIP Pass, revealing how many tickets were still available for each tier.
At the time of filming his video, MadCaster showed that there were allegedly still 3,977 tickets remaining for Club Pass and over 7,500 for VIP Pass. Hours later, the website claimed all tickets were sold out.
While lying about ticket sales is sometimes used as a marketing tactic for events, MadCaster theorised that the ACE Family could not throw the large-scale event they promised with the tickets they had actually sold.
Austin responded to this criticism in a vlog posted July 8th. “So, real quick, for the people that said that our festival was a scam or that it wasn’t happening, you guys can suck a fat donut, okay, because it’s happening,” he said.
What happened at Ace Fest?
Despite rumours that the event would be cancelled at the last minute, Ace Fest took place on July 9th in Lancaster, California.
Many are comparing the carnival to Fyre Fest and TanaCon after photos began emerging of empty stalls and ride lines, limited shade, and recycled prizes.
Several ticket holders were under the impression that food and parking were included in the price. Though Austin also confirmed that parking would be free in a video promoting the festival, attendees were reportedly left to purchase their own food from vendors and pay $10 for parking.
The carnival prizes allegedly included old merch that the vloggers had been unable to sell, such as ACE Family-branded winter scarves and Christmas ornaments given out in the middle of summer.
The family’s meet and greet was also a point of contention, with VIP Pass holders waiting in line for hours in the beating sun with no access to shade before Austin and Catherine allegedly cut it short. It was scheduled to go until 10PM.
Amongst the young fans in attendance were several YouTube personalities and drama channels who purchased tickets to report on the event. Creators Rich Lux, MadCaster, and Def Noodles were all reportedly kicked out of Ace Fest when they were recognised by the events team.
Some critics on Twitter suggest The ACE Family may have discriminated against certain creators based on their sexual orientation, as both Rich Lux and MadCaster openly identify as gay.
Others note, however, that many drama channels remain anonymous, so there was no way for The ACE Family and their security team to recognise others.
While Austin and Catherine have not addressed the criticism at the time of publication, many internet users anticipate the couple will take limited responsibility for failing to live up to their promises about ACE Fest and all the ensuing issues that occurred at the event.