African food festival organizer throws pizza fest in NYC, Ja Rule would approve

King Ghidorah
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Hungry pizza lovers, some of whom spent $75 each to attend the New York City Pizza Festival, are demanding refunds for what they're calling a "total scam" that had them waiting over an hour to enter a "shady parking lot" for empty tents and barely any food. And there's a familiar name attached to Saturday's widely panned event: the organizer is allegedly one Ishmael Osekre, the man behind last summer's "EPIC DISASTER" African Food Festival.

"It was like the people from Fyre Festival decided to throw a pizza party," quipped Connell Burke about the Pizza Festival, referencing the infamous luxury festival that promised supermodels and Ja Rule and instead delivered disaster relief tents and slices of cheese, and an indefinite stay on a Bahamian island.

"It was my girlfriend's birthday so I got the VIP tickets, so I spent $150 total for the two tickets," Burke told Gothamist. "There's three pop-up tents to my left, one where they're taking cold pizzas out of delivery boxes and cutting them. Those pictures don't do it justice, because they look like they're normal-sized plates but they're actually cake-sized, like what you'd use for cake at a children's birthday party. They're small, tiny little slivers of pizza."

The event, which took place in a parking lot on Flushing Avenue in Bushwick, was promoted as a "day long celebration of the dough, cheese, tasty sauces and delicious toppings." But attendees report they were greeted with "pizza...smaller than a sample size," according to one person on Facebook. "Cold and tasted awful."

"Total ? don't spend your money if you haven't yet, and if you have get a refund," festival guest Oscar Mendoza posted to Facebook. "Three small tents are here, paid $75 for a slice of pizza smaller then my palm."

"We came up all the way from DC and all we got was this slice," attendee Chip Shannon said of the above photo.

"This is ? ! The fact that my friend and I spent 55 dollars each for such a ? event like this unbelievable!" another said on Facebook. "All we got was warm red wine that tasted like ass!"
Last August, Osekre organized the African Food Festival, which attendees also called a scam, saying there were only a handful of the promised "24+" chefs and vendors. To make matters worse, the Festival was staged inside the Duggal Greenhouse in the middle of a heatwave, with no air conditioning and prices for a bottle of water running between $3 - $5.