By Liz Burke
Hundreds of adventurous Sydneysiders are furious after an event promising to "take you through a maze in a secret location" ended up delivering no more than an overpriced entry to a Bondi bar.
The Curious Labyrinth, organised by Facebook-based Sydney event group The Underground Party, cost $45 per ticket and was to be held in a secret location on Saturday night - if more than 500 people committed to attend.
The Facebook event, which was deleted earlier today amid the backlash, attracted the interest of more than 5000 people and 917 said they would attend. Organisers promised those who had bought tickets would "get lost to find music, food, drinks and crazy characters among the hedges", and the event page boasted imagery of lush green hedges in complex formations.
The ticket price included an after-party, which was to be held at a Bondi Junction nightclub, while the location of the labyrinth itself was due to be announced the day before the event.
Anxious ticketholders waited until Saturday morning to find out that the "secret location" of the maze was actually at the same address as the after-party - Jam Gallery in Bondi Junction's Oxford Street.
Disappointment continued when guests arrived at the location to find not a maze of sprawling hedges, but "fake greenery in a bad nightclub".
People who attended the event told news.com.au the maze was non-existent.
Pictures from the event showed fake shrubbery lined the bar's walls, and artificial creeping vines had been placed around entry ways.
One woman who attended the event told news.com.au: "I seriously doubt so many people would have bought tickets if they knew it would be a themed club night at a bar in Bondi Junction.
"At one point I heard one girl say to someone that she had been watching people walk in and out of the dancefloor room saying, 'Is this it?.'"
In a now-deleted comment posted to the event's Facebook page, one attendee said the maze "was created with a few bed sheets over the 4 walls".
News.com.au has seen dozens of negative comments posted to the event's page, including many requesting refunds which have since been removed.
In comments that were deleted individually before the entire even page was removed, the organisers were accused of misleading advertising and poor communication.
"Pretty disappointing, plus there was no maze," one person wrote. "Definitely not worth the $44 we paid for! Purposely deceptive advertising/description."
Another attendee described it as "the worst event I have been to".
"Don't believe the advertising - so disappointed - left after half an hour having had to buy a drink on top of the ridiculously overpriced tickets," she wrote. "The Underground Arts Party owes me $80 plus booking fee, and should recompense everyone who bought tickets to this event if they wish to save face."
Another wrote: "Shockingly bad event! Lack of communication regarding the 'secret location' which ended up being the same location as the after-party ... To charge $40+bf for this is a joke! The organisers need to refund otherwise they'll ruin their reputation beyond repair!"
One woman who attended gave her review: "Worst maze ever".
Her comment received the reply: "WHAT maze? I was no maze in there."
The bad reviews came flooding in even before the event had started, when the "maze" location was eventually revealed as the same address as the advertised after-party.
Even before that, commenters had taken to Facebook to complain that the location reveal came far too late to allow people to effectively plan the night.
Questions from news.com.au over why negative comments were removed have gone unanswered.
Further evidence the Curious Labyrinth wasn't the most efficiently planned event was a call-out for entertainers posted to Facebook about four hours before it was due to start.
"Super last minute gig in Bondi tonight," the post read. "Client is looking for roving entertainment in a labyrinth."
An attendee told news.com.au the night's entertainment was "some circus type performers scattered around".
An organiser admitted to news.com.au: "Some people were disappointed with the maze".
The organiser said people who had messaged the event page had been refunded.