Jazz festival reported to authorities
Outstanding refunds total almost P40, 000
The aftermath of last month’s Hamptons Jazz Festival continues to kick up a stink, with angry punters demanding their long overdue refunds.
Despite it’s huge popularity, the event has courted controversy in recent years, with the latest edition seemingly the hardest hit.
This week, 40 disgruntled Hamptons Jazz supporters reached out to Voice Entertainment claiming they are owed P38, 258 in ticket refunds promised to them by the festival’s founder, Debbie Smith.
The 40 have grouped themselves together and are adamant Smith – believed to currently be in London, England – will pay back the money she owes.
Voice Entertainment is in possession of an email between the concerned group and the Consumer Watchdog where they have reported the matter.
The email communications partly state, “Hi, firstly please allow me to congratulate you all on taking exactly the right action. A collective complaint like yours has much more weight than lots of individual complaints. Rest assured that you have the support of Consumer Watchdog if that has any value,” signed by the Consumer Watchdog, Richard Harriman.
Voice Entertainment is also in possession of a circulating SMS purportedly from the Hamptons Jazz organisers reassuring those wanting a refund that they will get their monies.
The SMS, dated 25 April – three days before the festival – reads in part, “We anticipated to have paid you a refund today. Unfortunately the tickets have not resold. Please bare with us whilst we continue to resell. We anticipate to sell more tickets when the international artists arrive on Friday. Due to unforeseen circumstances we will only be able to look into refunds at that point.”
The concerned group also reached out to the Central Police Station, where they were referred to the Small Claims Court.
“The Police listened to our story and advised us that because it was an agreement between us the matter was not a criminal matter but rather a civil matter. They told us to go to the Small Claims Court,” said one of the 40.
“We have been trying to call her (Smith) but she has blocked some of our numbers. We have tried to reach out through Facebook but all in vain. We just want our refunds as agreed,” commented another disgruntled group member.
The ‘monate wa batsadi’ show was postponed from its initial set date after the organisers blamed Government for failing to extend operating hours to an all night event.
These allegations were refuted by the main headline act, Billy Ocean who, in a Voice Entertainment exclusive, revealed he would not have made the original date due to a flight cancellation.
Efforts to reach Smith for a comment on the saga proved futile at the time of going to press.
She initially agreed to respond to Voice Entertainment questions saying, “Hi Sharon sure fire away.”
However, she later responded, “Is that further to the article you wrote two weeks ago? Regardless there is a media release coming out tomorrow (Wednesday 16 May) and a lot is covered there. I’ll send it over to your email too.”