This is exactly why wooks can not have nice things.
Jam band and electronic festival Farm Fest, known for having a large drug and party component, melted down over the weekend in rural Hammonton, New Jersey — about halfway between Philadelphia and Atlantic City — forcing fans to go home early and leaving investors looking for organizer and head wook Patrick Bartnett, who also goes by the name Patrick Ryan.
For those not in the know, a wook is considered a drug-loving, shady hippy, often with a criminal record and Bartnett is no exception. In 2016 he was arrested for burglary and breaking into cars, as well as giving police a fake name. When arrested he was also discovered to have an outstanding warrant in Hopatcong Municipal Court for failing to appear on a charge of prostitution. Making things worse, ten days before the festival was to take place, Barnett was arrested again on DUI charges.
While the details are sketchy, friends say Bartnett organized the six-year-old Farm Festival (which is an acronym for Future of Artistic & Revolutionary Minds) at the end of the last year’s festival. Sources say he spent big on advances to secure acts like Break Science, Conspirator and Talib Kweli but then never bothered to secure the correct staging and sound and audio requirements and found himself in breach with the artists refusing to show up for his event.
He also had some kind of dispute with the landowner of the Paradise Lakes Campground where the event was to take place — Bartnett says the landowner tried to double the rent days before the show, while others say Bartnett never paid the landlord, or anyone else for that matter.
Making things worse was Bartnett’s confusing posts on Facebook in the days leading up to the festival, hinting that he was running out of money and considering canceling the event. Several investors who had given Bartnett loans ranging between $20,000 to $50,000 spoke to Amplify and said that Bartnett tricked them into giving them the money and said the promoter has gone into hiding. Amplify has made several attempts to call and email Bartnett and have not received a response.
Attendees tell Amplify that Farm Fest has always been a bit of a shit show, often poorly organized with frequent bad weather and a reputation for constant lineup changes. But many say they go because of the sense of community and said the wide availability of party drugs like Ketamine, MDMA and LSD draws attendees looking for a drug-enhanced experience. When asked in a Facebook Live video if ketamine sales would be allowed, Bartnett laughed off the question and chastised viewers for asking him on a public forum.
For reasons that are unknown, Bartnett seems to have taken control of the festival in 2017 and toward the end of the festival that year, a rain storm forced the early closure of the event. The same thing appears to have happened this year although several fans say the rain was really light and they believe Bartnett was using the rain as an excuse to shut the event down a day early since none of the proposed talent would be performing.
“About an hour after all the music, they then told us everyone had to leave the festival grounds due to flood warnings,” fan Damien Pace told Amplify, saying that many of the acts had also cancelled Friday night but a handful of DJs “saved the evening.”
As the sun began to rise Saturday morning, word that more acts were pulling out of the event started to circulate around the campground, including a Facebook post from the group Break Science who confirmed they weren’t playing.
Sublime cover band Badfish also said they were pulling out of the event because of a lack of payment.
Fans say they believe the rain cancelation was simply a way to shut the event down without acknowledging a lack of performers and headliners. Many fans quickly took to social media to mock the event.