I got news recently that the 2016 edition of the Toronado Barleywine Festival in San Francisco , a festival that has been running for 21 years, has been cancelled. It seems that the growth of SF Beer Week into a 700+ event liver endurance test may have been the main reason.
I went to my first Barleywine Festival 15-ish years ago. The exact details are a bit fuzzy. Possibly due to 15 years of going to said Barleywine Festival. It was always a fascinating look at the style with 50-odd examples on tap at once from all over the world. Many of the maltier English style, lots from the much more assertive American style, and everything in between. Though impossible to taste them all in one day, some would share tastes with others. Some would even line up and get a small sample of each and place it on the Toronado supplied map.