The most recent Essence Music Festival was enjoyable for those who attended. But two Black women who planned to attend the event are very disappointed because they were apparently taken advantage of by OBL Travel, a travel agency where they booked their trip. One of the women reportedly lost $5,000 while the other one lost $17,000.
Adrianna Williams, who is from Minnesota, said she booked her trip through OBL Travel online for her group of 16 to go to the Essence Festival. The package she got included their hotel stay, rides to and from the airport, and party passes and tickets to the festival. She said she paid $17,000 with a money order, but she didn’t hear from OBL after that.
“I didn’t get nothing but lint in my pocket and not being able to pay my mortgage,” Williams told WDSU News.
Another woman, Cinneah Elamin, who came to New Orleans from New York, was shocked when she found out that her group had no tickets, hotel, or party passes even though they paid $5,000.
“At the moment we have nothing. If we find out that we actually do not have concert tickets, then we likely will not be able to attend the show now that the tickets are well over $500,” Elamin said about the situation.
Nakesia Washington, the owner of OBL, released a statement regarding Williams and says, “I plan on refunding the money.” However, she claims that she’s in the hospital and her account is hacked so her money is frozen. Meanwhile, she says she doesn’t know about Elamin even though she has provided proof that she indeed paid for the trip through OBL.
The Better Business Bureau revealed that they have had over 17 complaints against OBL Travel and many are from large groups.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office is now investigating the travel agency after they have also received multiple complaints from people who allegedly lost thousands of dollars on Essence Festival packages that didn’t actually exist.