Legal action considered against ‘Disney’ market organizer who oversold event at Mississauga Convention Centre
Published February 1, 2023 at 1:36 pm
The Mississauga Convention Centre is considering legal action against the organizer of a so-called Disney-themed market.
Complaints surfaced about the event, called “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes,” hosted by Elevated Society Market, on social media.
“This truly was such a sh*t show,” an attendee posted on TikTok. “The whole thing was chaotic, people were sneaking in, the fire department and police showed up to do crowd control…”
She added it took two and a half hours to get in and once in there was only one Disney character.
Another person called it “a total scam,” on Twitter. It was sold “way over capacity.”
The event was billed as an opportunity to shop locally with free face painting and 15 Disney characters all while Disney songs play in the background. However, it wasn’t a Disney-licensed event.
Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services responded to a complaint about the event around 1:45 p.m. on Jan. 29, Acting Platoon Chief Mark Train tells insauga.com.
“We noticed a lot of busy traffic in the parking lot, a lot of cars parked improperly, just general excessive congestion, as well as a long line up of patrons ready to go into the convention centre,” Train says.
Four exits were blocked with vendor booths, he adds.
Fire crews had the vendors move away from exits to keep them clear and safe and they controlled the crowd flow. Crews even spent time with those waiting outside to reduce their stress. After about two hours, the situation was under control.
Some people were upset but there were no injuries reported, Train adds.
He believes the organizers were overwhelmed and had sold more tickets than they could manage without a timed event.
@CityNewsTO stuck in a hallway for 2hrs and 45 minutes with thousands of people unable to move, emergency exits blocked at the Disney event in Mississauga. Fire and police on scene clearing out crowds. pic.twitter.com/2IcqHxzN3c
— Cassie (@cassiesegrob) January 29, 2023
There is not much information about Elevated Society Market. The ticket selling site indicates they are based in Midland. Their Instagram says they bring “pop up events coast to coast featuring local talent.”
They didn’t respond to requests for comment but in a now-deleted Instagram story they blamed the venue for “not having adequate parking spaces for two big events that were allowed to be double booked on the same day…”
They indicated the issue was “NOT our fault.”
But the Mississauga Convention Centre tells insauga.com the private event was “fully organized and hosted by Elevated Society Market, who contracted Mississauga Convention Centre as the event venue. There is absolutely no affiliation between Elevated Society Market and Mississauga Convention Centre.”
Elevated Society Market booked a contract for 300 attendees across two rooms, the Mississauga Convention Centre says.
“This maximum attendance capacity of 300 attendees was clearly laid out in the contract they signed.”
The convention centre says the market oversold the tickets to the event without informing them.
“As such, Mississauga Convention Centre staffed the event and made all preparations based on the contracted 300 attendees.”
“Elevated Society Market is now facing the aftermath of their poor planning and deceptive practices, while attempting to blame Mississauga Convention Centre,” the convention centre says.
“Mississauga Convention Centre is currently exploring legal action against Elevated Society Market for the reputation damage they are attempting to cause.”
“Mississauga Convention Centre holds itself to the highest standards of safety and service, and has a long legacy of excellence in the industry.”
In addition to concerns about overcrowding, the promise to donate to the Make-A-Wish Foundation was reportedly false. Make-A-Wish Foundation has told media outlets they didn’t have a prior agreement with the organizer and didn’t authorize the use of their logo.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising