Not even a cancellation could bring down the people expected to attend the Burn Out cannabis festival Saturday at the Tulare County Fairgrounds.
Although attendees didn’t get to fully experience Tulare County’s first weed festival on Saturday, the afterparty continued at The Cellar Door in downtown Visalia.
Visalia resident James Carter and a few of his friends bought tickets to the Burn Out Cannabis, Art and Music Festival.
They waited outside The Cellar Door for roughly 45 minutes before they were let inside the party.
“It was super lame that the local authorities didn’t go along with it,” Carter said. “People voted and it’s not being upheld at the local level. It’s just unfortunate.”
Carter was initially upset the festival got canceled on such short notice, however, he planned to have a good night regardless, he said.
“I’m happy, it looks like some of the vendors showed up here, “Carter said. “Once we’re inside the doors it should be a good time. Hopefully, the festival is in there.”
The event at The Cellar Door welcomed local acts and a couple vendors as well as Afroman and Planet Asia.
Tracy Phillips and Lily Romanazzi also stood outside eager to get in.
“I produced the music for a couple of the artist, so to me, especially, it was pretty upsetting,” Phillips said. “It’s a disappointment because a lot of people were going to come down for it and a lot of people missed out on a great opportunity.”
The festival has been rescheduled for a later day in April in a different county.
It will be held in an area that, unlike Tulare County, is fully ready for the attention that comes with the event, said Tully Huffaker, event coordinator.
“I think the city was scared of how big it became,” Huffaker said. “I don’t think they understood how historical of an event it was going to be and they just weren’t ready for the attention.”
According to Huffaker, the fairgrounds has hosted two other “underground” cannabis-related festivals, which is what led him to use their facilities.
He said the city needs to look at the needs and wants of its population before turning down events related to the cannabis culture.
“Sadly, and obviously based on the response, the area is ready for it. Everyone wanted it to happen,” Huffaker said. “People have all been very sympathetic for it. Which tells me the area is ready for it. I guess the government of the area is just not ready for it.”
He doesn’t think the area will be disappointed they missed their chance either, he said.
“I think they are insane. I think they are living in the 50s and don’t care about state rights,” Huffaker said. “I think they are stuck in their ways — old and bitter. They have no interest other than their own direct personal interest and care nothing about the population.”
The festival could have been one way to bring change to the “conservative area,” of California, Carter said.
“It’s a dip in the water,” Carter said. “I think opinions need to change and we need to take a good, hard look at ourselves in the mirror when we talk about marijuana. When you go up North people don’t give a [expletive] when you go down South people don’t give a [expletive] but apparently in Central California people care.”