On Monday, Bulli showground was supposed to be awash with thousands of festival goers reveling in foam pits from morning to night, enjoying fire eaters, free rides, a festival bar and "daredevil light shows with electric fireworks".
That is, at least, according to the event website for the Festival of Foam and Light.
The reality - and what was approved if the event had ever got off the ground - was very different.
Around 10am on the public holiday, the showground was quiet and empty with no sign of the promised "festival like no other".
The organiser, Jagat A Deniau - who also goes by the name Riya Deniau - had gone to ground.
The Mercury was unable to reach her by phone, email and an online contact form, and a Facebook page for the event was shut down.
The festival emerged in May, when an application was lodged with Wollongong City Council.
Ms Deniau claimed the event would be "like two festivals in one", filled with foam pits, an inflatable obstacle course, rides, food trucks, live music and light shows.
The council issued consent on August 19, allowing a maximum of 700 people to attend. This is wildly out of step with what's touted on the festival website.
For instance, the website says there would have been "500 free cups of coffee" for the first people through the door, and a free T-shirt for the first 3000 kids and 2000 adult ticket holders.
The council stipulated that the festival would be an alcohol free event, which was only allowed to run from 10.30am to 7.30pm and had a noise restriction that allowed sounds no louder than normal conversation levels. There were to be no fireworks displays, no public address systems and no loud music.
This contrasts with the website, which promotes a festival bar, doors open from 8.30am to 9.30pm, and the "daredevil light shows with electric fireworks".
Despite its big claims, the website curiously had no way of securing tickets, and the Mercury has been unable to find evidence of any other online ticket sales.
The ticketing section of the site only said there would be "no tickets on sale on the day". Online tickets were to go on sale on September 17; it appears this never happened.
The council consent also required the lodgement of a number of other documents, including a traffic plan, licence agreements and food notification forms.
Wollongong production company Pro Sounds and Lighting was approached to be the main supplier early this year, and agreed to provide staging, lighting, a laser show, the foam and source live music.
"We thought it was going to be a great event, until we researched it a bit more," production manager Leonard Buckley said. "As we went on, we deliberately didn't order the equipment in because it all seemed a bit strange."
When the company failed to receive payment after repeated promises from Ms Deniau, they decided to pull out, notifying her in mid-September.
Despite the main supplier no longer taking part, small food vendors contacted by the Mercury last week believed the event was to go ahead and had been making preparations to source their supplies.
Some stallholders were sent an email from Ms Deniau a week ago, advising them that "due to unforeseen circumstances I have had to withdraw the event".
The collapse has left dozens of small business owners out of pocket after they paid stall fees of varying amounts to be part of the event. Most say they are yet to receive refunds, however Ms Deniau has told them they will be forthcoming.