An Apology for Saturday Night’s Balloon Glow at the 2016 Balloon Festival
Putting on an event is an incredibly complicated task. Sometimes everything goes smoothly, sometimes things do not. There is always the risk of human error, mechanical error, circumstantial obstructions, and various other issues and obstacles that can occur. Some can be managed before they impacts your experience; others end up causing frustrating consequences like we experienced this past weekend.
During Saturday’s Balloon Glow – a tribute to America’s fighting men and women, past, present and deceased – we did not expect more than about 1,000 to 1,500 people to attend. Those numbers are based on 30 years of previous performance. Initially, we were pleased to see people coming out in droves. But as people kept coming and coming, we realized there were more people than we could safely accommodate. We made a tough call and closed the gates to a free event. It was frustrating to us, the presenters, and those still wishing to attend -- and yes, it was embarrassing as there were no quick or easy solutions to allow continued admittance.
We are heartily sorry for causing anyone to have a bad experience at the 2016 Balloon Festival. Many people are justifiably angry, and we acknowledge mistakes were made. We can promise you we are stepping back and reevaluating the entire process. We hope you accept the sincerity with which this statement is intended --that the last thing we had hoped to have was anything less than a heartfelt, shared experience honoring those who gave all, while saluting those who continue to give on behalf of our country.
Thank you to everyone who did have kind words about the intent of this year’s Balloon Glow event, and those who were patient with this year’s shortcomings. Also thank you to those who volunteered and helped staff the entire weekend.
Thank you El Paso, for your Balloon Festival support -- both with whatever degree you felt it deserved this year -- and over the 30 previous years.
--Sincerely, Townsquare Media El Paso (93.1 KISS FM, KLAQ 95.5, 600 ESPN El Paso)