Last Friday (Nov. 1), Kanye West brought his Sunday Service to Bethany Church in Baton Rouge, LA. The rapper was set to perform selections from his Jesus Is King album along with his traveling Sunday Service choir. Before the performance, fans were meant to enjoy brunch, called “Brunchella,” hosted by promoters Affiliate Nation.
Although Kanye appeared at the event for free, fans were charged a $55 admittance to the pre-show brunch. A photo of the food, reminiscent of the Fyre Festival fare, quickly went viral, as fans complained about the inadequate meal, especially after paying a $55 fee.
Now, Bethany Church and the caterers have offered their comments surrounding the disappointing “Brunchella.”
In a statement issued to The Blast, the church claims that a promoter organized the event, handling ticket sales and food.
“As the venue location, and nothing else, Bethany Church simply allowed an event promoter to utilize the open field in front of the church crosses,” the statement read. “All artist logistics, including ticket sales and relevant financial agreements, were handled by the event promoter Affiliate Nation; the church has nothing to do with any of those operations and did not receive any amount of compensation, directly or indirectly, from sales related to the event.”
In a statement released to local Baton Rouge station WAFB 9 News, Lauryn’s Fine Catering, who provided the food, said that the lacking and cold plates were a result of short-notice and bad weather.
“We were contacted only 28 hours prior to the event, after the $55 price had been set by the organizers, not Lauryn’s Fine Catering,” the statement read. “We agreed to assist the local organizers with providing a breakfast buffet for over 2,000 guests. While we typically do not fulfill large, full-service orders with less than a month’s notice, we chose to assist the organizers whom we believed to be affiliated with Kanye’s team at an incredibly reduced rate.”
“We regret that our food ordered by the organizers, was not what the guests had envisioned, and did not remain hot at all times, as the warming dishes were susceptible to the 35 degree weather, and our goal was to serve the more than 2,000 VIP guests as quickly as possible,” the statement continued. “It has been our primary focus for the past twenty years to provide top notch service to our guests. It is our hope that the multiple compliments we received from event guests outweigh the negative experiences received from circumstances outside of our control.”
The coordinator for the event did assume responsibility for the brunch and reiterated that Kanye and his Sunday Service ensemble were not to blame.
“On Friday, November 1, Lauryn’s Fine Catering provided brunch to Baton Rouge Sunday Service to attendees,” a press release from the event promoter read. “Sunday Service has no affiliation with the ‘Brunchella’ catering service. Attendees were to be provided with a hot brunch while waiting on Kanye West to perform. The catering company did not provide adequate food for ONE attendee and a social media post went viral.”
“Kanye West and the Sunday Service collective has no responsibility for any food complaints reported and should be disassociated with such claims,” the release continued.
According to The Blast, Bethany Church also denied that the “Brunchella” would become an annual event, despite Kanye’s fans being under that impression. The news outlet also reports that Ye did not receive any money to perform and was not legally or contractually associated with “Brunchella.”
As for the $55 entrance fee, the event organizer, Adrian Hammond Jr. of Affiliate Nation, told WAFB 9 that some of the money collected would go to charity.
“We’re donating to local non-profit organizations as well, yeah,” he said.