Concert-goers call for changes after missing refund window for Grand Forks Rock Fest | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Concert-goers call for changes after missing refund window for Grand Forks Rock Fest

The Canada Rock Fest music festival was scheduled for August 6 to 8 in Grand Forks but was cancelled due to COVID-19.
Image Credit: Facebook / Canada Rock Fest
June 01, 2020 - 4:43 PM

At least a couple of ticket holders for this August’s Canada Rock Fest are unhappy with ticket reimbursements following the concert’s cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rock music festival was scheduled to take place August 6 to 8 in Grand Forks.

It was originally promoted under the name Titans of Rock but the festival was re-named in February.

Terrace resident Christina Cann said she is out $427 and her friend Karen Pederson is out $599 after being refused refunds.

“We weren’t notified that a refund was an option. We had been checking the site diligently because of COVID-19. I don’t even know how long the post for getting a refund by May 20 was up, but in March through April it was a go,” Cann said Friday, May 29.

On May 11, festival organizers announced on their Facebook page the event was cancelled and offered refunds until May 20 and after that date, ticket holders would be allowed a credit for the following year.

But that's not good enough for some ticket-holders who say they weren't aware of the short window for refunds. The festival name change part way through the process added confusion, Cann said.

“That should have been sent out in an email blast, so we would all know which page to follow,” she said. “I want to know how many others are trying to get refunds. A credit for next year’s festival doesn’t work for everyone. We want our money back."

Cann said Canada Rock Fest could easily have notified everyone of the refund deadline.

“I bought my ticket on March 1. They have my email, they have all my information, so why wasn’t I notified?” she said.

Calgary resident Karen Pederson said in an email she has been sending emails, messenger texts and phone calls to the rock festival’s web page since March 15 in an effort to find out about the festival’s status after purchasing a ticket from the Titans of Rock website.

She said after numerous attempts to contact rock festival organizers she received a response that was "short and rude and pretty much told me I was not getting a refund as I missed a short window of opportunity."

Pederson spent $599 for a VIP pass and a camping site.

“Unless people have been living under a rock the past few months, they know there is a pandemic going on and every event in Canada and the rest of the world has been cancelled, ours included,” Canada Rock Fest  promotor Chuck Varabioff said.

"Over a month ago I officially cancelled the festival. That went in the local Grand Forks Gazette, that went on our official website, it went on our official Facebook page and my personal Facebook page. I said to stay tuned for our refund cancellation policy,” he said.

"I offered refunds or a credit for next year, gave people well over a month’s notice and when we did the official refund notice I provided 12 days for people to go online and provide their details or send in their tickets by a certain date. If they didn’t do the above, they received a credit carried over to next year,” Varabioff said, noting he was only legally bound to provide a credit to next year’s festival.

Varabioff said the refund period has come and gone, and now people who missed the boat are blaming him.

“It’s unfortunate for ticket holders they missed that deadline, but there was more than enough time for them to do it. Roughly 70 per cent got refunds. I went over and above what legally needed to be done, and instead of blaming me, they need to take some blame for themselves,” he said.

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