The inaugural XO Music Festival was scheduled to take place July 13-15, 2018, at Contra Costa County Event Park (formerly the Fairgrounds) in Antioch, California, but the event has been canceled. The event's promoter, World Class Entertainment, blames low ticket sales, but Contra Costa Event Park has issued a press release stating the city of Antioch canceled the event because the promoter failed to meet contractual obligations. The Antioch Police Department stated on its Facebook page that the department has "received numerous comments, complaints and concerns" about the XO Festival and that all issues should be taken up with World Class Entertainment.
The XO Festival had announced more than 100 performers, with mostly hip-hop artists (such as Ludacris, T.I., Fabolous and the Diplomats), retro acts (including Survivor, C + C Music Factory and Vanilla Ice) and comedians (Drennon Davis, Jordan Cerminara, Irene Tu). The event also advertised that it would offer art installations and many experiential activities, such as a carnival, an indoor skating rink, a foam pit, an edible candy house and an interactive bounce arena.
KPIX-TV, the CBS affiliate in San Francisco, reported on July 10 that just a few days before the event, no festival set-ups or production had begun at Contra Costa Event Park, there were no signs that any organizers were there, and some artists had dropped out of the event, claiming dubious business practices. On July 11, XO Festival was still claiming that the event would go on as planned. "Regardless of all the fake media. We are still planning our festival," read a statement on XO Festival's Instagram account.
However, the Contra Costa County Event Park soon after announced the event's cancellation, and then XO Festival confirmed it. On the XO Festival website, event organizers issued a statement saying that the event was canceled "due to lower than anticipated (sic) ticket sales and in part due to the fact that there were some negative media reports targeting us, with which we strongly disagree.”
Contra Costa Event Park CEO Joe Brengle said in the issued press release: "Due to the promoters lack of fulfilling contractual obligations between the Contra Costa Event Park and World Class Entertainment, Event Park Management in the best interest and safety of our facility, event attendees and the City of Antioch have no choice but to cancel."
Brengle also told the Contra Costa Times that the main contractual issue was that World Class Entertainment did not provide the proper insurance documents. World Class Entertainment director Sami Habib denies that claim. “We are the ones who are victimized here,” Habib told the Contra Costa Times.
Meanwhile, GrowTix, which handled tickets for the event, told KPIX: “We are refunding all ticket holders immediately. This process has already started. Funds were never distributed to the XO festival and held by us in case of cancellation.” GrowTix president John Sloan added, "Everyone who ordered will get an email confirmation of their refund. It will post in one to two days to their bank account."