Controversial influencers the Ace Family hosted a festival in California on July 9.
Attendees shared reviews on social media, saying they thought the event was “underwhelming.”
Ace Family’s Austin McBroom said the event was a “success” in an Instagram story.
Controversial influencers the Ace Family hosted a family festival over the weekend in Lancaster, California.
Austin and Catherine McBroom, who run The Ace Family YouTube channel, held the Ace Family Fest on July 9, but many who attended said they experienced long lines, overpriced food, and “blistering” heat.
The couple, who have 18.8 million subscribers and typically post family vlogs about their three children, announced in a March video that they would be quitting YouTube at the end of 2022 to go traveling, but said they would also be organizing a festival — described by the McBrooms as “Disneyland meets Coachella” — to meet some of their fans before then.
Ticket packages for the event were $299 for three people and $499 for a VIP package for five people, which included the opportunity to meet Austin and Catherine at a meet-and-greet, according to the event’s website. Initially, individual tickets weren’t sold for the eventbut one YouTuber who live streamed the event said he bought a single ticket at the door for $121.
For context, the price of a one-day pass to Disneyland starts at $104.
The family has been embroiled in several controversies over the past few years, which has affected their reputation on YouTube. Most recently, in October 2021, creditors foreclosed on their $10 million mansion after the couple amassed $8.7 million in debts. They’ve since moved into a new luxury home.
Austin and Catherine McBroom did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment regarding the allegations made about the event.
One drama YouTuber filmed a large tent that appeared to collapse during the festival.
A YouTuber known as Atozy, whose real name is Erling Mengshoel Jr, hosted an hour-and-a-half live stream from the festival, which he has since reuploaded to YouTube.
At one point during the video, a group of people could be seen trying to hoist a red marquee back in place after it had fallen.
“Oh wow. Thank goodness that didn’t hit anyone. That would’ve been dangerous,” Mengshoel Jr. said in the live stream.
The YouTuber also filmed several rides during the stream, saying the venue looked relatively “empty,” and added that he’d be “disappointed” if he’d paid to attend.
Mengshoel Jr. has 1.2 million YouTube subscribers and typically posts explainers on feuds and controversies involving high-profile influencers.
Some disappointed visitors complained about the cost of food at the event.
A Twitter user called @saltysaltysalts posted a picture that appeared to be taken at the festival, which showed a menu of available food items, including $10 cotton candy, a “jumbo corndog” for $9 and water for $3. Mengshoel Jr’s video also what showed appeared to be the same food menu.
One person said that $10 for cotton candy was a “crazy” concept.
According to the Ace Family Fest websiterides and games are included as part of the entry fee for the event, however the price of food is not mentioned on the site.
Videos and photos from the event showed people queuing in long lines for the McBroom’s meet-and-greet, despite the heat.
One YouTuber named Amanda Golka, who runs a drama and commentary channel — a genre of YouTube where creators typically discuss internet controversy and gossip — called Swell Entertainment, tweeted that it was around 87 degrees Fahrenheit when she first entered the festival. Temperatures were as high as 96 degrees in Lancaster, California, on July 9, according to AccuWeather.com.
Various other drama and commentary YouTubers who said they attended the event reported experiencing sunburn and overheating phonesand said they had to wait in the “blistering sun” for hours to meet the family.
“Watching parents pour water on their kids to keep them cool while Austin and Catherine chill in the shade,” tweeted YouTuber Spill Sesh, who documented her time at the festival for her 632,000 subscribers.
A notice on the Ace Family Fest website warned that temperatures “on a July day in California can exceed 100 degrees” and advised attendees to bring sunblock and a hat.
It got so hot, the Ace Family moved their meet-and-greet inside so people would not be queuing outdoors.
The McBrooms were aware of the extreme heat. On Saturday, Austin McBroom posted an Instagram story urging fans not to stand in the meet-and-greet line for hours in the heat. Instead, he suggested that attendees enjoy the festival and return when the queue was shorter.
In a subsequent Instagram story from the same day, seen by Insider, Austin filmed himself and Catherine inside a building in front of an extensive line of people, saying they had moved the meet-and-greet indoors because of soaring temperatures.
Golka of Swell Entertainment filmed the indoor queues and posted the footage on Twitter, saying the lines were still “crazy long” several hours into the event.
Some of the festival rides featured risk images, according to one drama YouTuber.
The owner of drama account Spill Sesh shared a tweet on July 9 which she said was taken at the festival, showing two attractions that each depicted a woman wearing a bikini.
Commenters under the tweet criticized the attractions for being inappropriate for children, noting that the festival was advertised as a “family” event
The Ace Family posted screenshots of positive reviews of the event on social media.
On her Instagram story, Catherine McBroom reshared several posts from fans who said they loved the event and enjoyed the opportunity to meet her and Austin.
Even some drama YouTubers who posted criticisms of the festival highlighted positive aspects.
YouTuber Spill Sesh, whose tweet about attending the festival were largely negative, noted in a youtube recap of her experience that “it wasn’t the worst thing” she’d ever been to, although she said the McBrooms could have been clearer about what the event was going to look like.
“I think that they were great in their meet and greet,” Spill Sesh said in her video. “The line looked like it sucked in the heat and everything, but the way they were treating their fans was really sweet and really nice, and those interactions are going to keep fans wanting to meet them again and come to another event.”
The Ace Family has received backlash for events they’ve hosted in the past.
In October 2021, Austin was sued by the city of Beverly Hills for hosting what it said was an unsanctioned gathering of Ace Family fans. According to the lawsuit, McBroom failed to apply for a permit to host the Rodeo Drive event.
And in August 2021, Insider reported that several influencers had filed lawsuits against McBroom after taking part in a boxing event that he organized, saying they had not been paid for their involvement.
Representatives for McBroom did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment at the time of either of these events.
The McBrooms appeared to anticipate negative reviews of Ace Fest. In a YouTube video posted on June 10, Austin and Catherine warned viewers that drama channels would likely post negative reviews of the event, as they had done after previous Ace Family events.
“Don’t click these drama channels, don’t click these news outlets, because they’re just trying to get you to click,” Austin said. “Just don’t buy into it.”
The McBrooms said they thought the event was a success.
On Sunday, Austin McBroom posted a thank you message to attendees on his Instagram stories.
“Yesterday was a very long, fun, and exciting day, and me and the family just want to say thank you guys again from the bottom of our hearts for coming out and showing so much love,” he said. “Oh my gosh, it was our first Ace Fest, and it was a success.”
On July 9, Catherine posted a picture of herself at the end of the festival in a now-expired Instagram story, which was seen by Insider, which had a caption that read, “Thank you so much to everyone who came out. One of the best days of my life.”
“I’d do it all over again,” the post continued.
Read the original article on Insider