Chili-less “Chili Cook-Off” angers concertgoers, Internet

Chili peppers from the 2005 DC101 Chili Cookoff. (Erik Heilman)

Chili peppers from the 2005 DC101 Chili Cookoff. (Erik Heilman)

Saturday's DC101 Chili Cook-Off outside RFK Stadium was a little light on the chili -- and some fans took it pretty hard.

“There was NO CHILI,” reads the post that kicked-off a heated day-long rant on /r/WashingtonDC, a local Reddit forum. “Not even that they had ran out, the people running the event apparently just decided to cancel the chili part, without telling anyone … The music was pretty good, but ugh. What a disappointment.”

For the uninitiated, the annual DC101 Chili Cook-Off is not, literally, a chili cook-off. It’s a charity music festival put together by the local radio station, featuring the likes of alt-rock standbys such as Soundgarden, AWOLNATION and Silversun Pickups.

Traditionally, there’s also a sideshow of overpriced, mass-market beer, midway fare like fries and fried onions ... and that namesake chili: 2012's festival featured a reported 101 chili vendors competing in four categories: red chili, green chili, "freestyle" and salsa.

But according to Redditors and numerous tweets by attendees, the chili disappeared from this year’s event, despite a promised “variety of chili options for sale.” DC101 did not return a request for comment on this developing Chiligate scandal, but there are plenty of Internet commenters filling the void.

“First off, there has to be CHILI at a CHILI COOKOFF,” wrote one self-described foodie -- capitalization hers.

“I set a record for least amount of time spent at an event I had prepurchased a ticket to,” wrote another. “I was about to get beer tickets and find my friends when I was like, ‘No. I'm not spending $24 for 3 bud lights after waiting in a ridiculous line to get sunburned in a huge cement lot where there is no chili.’”

She concludes: “I went home and relaxed on my porch. I chose wisely.”

Fortunately, the summer music season is only just beginning. The Sweetlife Festival brings Phoenix, Passion Pit and others to Merriweather Post Pavilion next week, and the event promises food from Toki Underground, DGS Delicatessen and the Rappahannock Oyster Co., among many others.

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