AUSTIN (KXAN) — The company behind a wine festival with previous events held in Austin has dissolved, with allegations made against the company’s CEO of being absent since Oct. 1.
My Wine Society is the parent company behind Blended Festival INC, a wine and music festival that previously held events in Austin, San Diego, Nashville and Tampa. Staff announced Sept. 19 this year’s Austin festival, planned for Sept. 24-25 at The Circuit of The Americas, was postponed “due to unforeseen circumstances.”
MWS’ CEO Sean Evans is alleged to have “disabled staff email accounts and left the team with no answers to be found.” The post further alleged that Evans is the only owner behind both MWS and Blended Festival and is the sole person “with access to bank accounts, payroll, ticketing, and decisions to be made on behalf of Blended.”
The post included screenshots of emails Evans allegedly sent to certain staff members that said Blended Festival had been dissolved and would be ending its business activity. The post also said former Blended staff members are pursuing legal action MWS, Blended Festival INC, Evans and his affiliated companies.
“From the bottom of our hearts we thank you for your support over the past three years,” the post read in part. “We hope justice and a resolution for all who have been affected in the wake of these events is found soon.”
KXAN reached out to Evans and his legal team regarding the post and its allegations. In an automatic reply, Evans attributed the post to a “rogue actor” and alleged some of the claims made were false.
Unfortunately, a rogue actor hacked the Blended Fest social media accounts and posted information, some false and some true. Blended Fest will not take place as scheduled in Tampa, Austin and San Diego due to circumstances beyond the company’s control. We are working with entities and artists to take over the operations and hopefully reschedule these events. We are also working expeditiously to provide appropriate refunds to those who purchased tickets, consistent with our terms and conditions, and to recover a significant number and amount of deposits paid to artists who will not be performing at these events.Sean Evans, CEO, My Wine Society
Evans’ automatic reply also referred ticket holders to direct any questions to email@example.com and include their name, email address affiliated with their ticket purchase, the number of tickets purchased, an order number and the total cost of tickets purchased.
KXAN has also reached out to representatives of former Blended staffers. We will update this post if those representatives, as well as Evans or his legal team, respond.