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Hundreds await refunds from cancelled Nazareth concert

Roger Carruthers and Scott Newland posed for this a picture last summer to promote the Nazareth concert that was cancelled due to lack of ticket sales. Ticket buyers are still waiting for their refund. - File photo
Roger Carruthers and Scott Newland posed for this a picture last summer to promote the Nazareth concert that was cancelled due to lack of ticket sales. Ticket buyers are still waiting for their refund.
— image credit: File photo

Hundreds of people who bought tickets to see Scottish rock band Nazareth play at the Nelson Community Complex have been waiting more than five months for a refund.

The show, originally booked for July 10, was cancelled due to lack of ticket sales. Those who had bought a $35 ticket — about 500 people — were told they could either trade their ticket for one to a different show by the same promoter or have their money refunded after November 1.

But now that November has rolled around, promoter Roger Carruthers of Rockopolus said in a press release that "due to legal matters with the bands' management, refunds are still pending."

He went on to explain that all the money collected from ticket sales was given to the bands as a deposit, which hasn't yet been refunded.

"Refunds will be provided when funds are available," Carruthers said in the release. "It is our responsibility to provide the refunds … we have every confidence that will happen."

Carruthers didn't provide a new date for ticket buyers to collect their refund and did not return calls or emails from the Star.

Meanwhile, the staff at Phoenix Computers have have been feeling the heat from ticket buyers who are getting impatient for their refunds.

The majority of people who bought Nazareth tickets purchased them from the computer store, and now that's where they're turning for their refund.

"Our phone was ringing off the hook on November 1," said Scott Newland, owner of Pheonix Computers. "Every second person into the store was putting their ticket on the counter and asking for money."

Newland volunteered his time and resources to sell the tickets as a favour to Carruthers, but he had nothing to do with organizing the concert. Now he's the one who's been left explaining to people that their refund isn't available.

"The majority of people are understanding, but there's been a few who get really angry and start making threats," Newland said. "I've had people accuse me of fraud or say they're never going to shop at my business again.

"I volunteered to sell these tickets because I wanted to do something good for the community, because the show was supposed to be a fundraiser to improve the community centre. But my good deed has backfired on me."

Newland is hoping to distance himself from the debacle by encouraging people to contact Rockopolos directly for further information about the refund, by emailing rockopolus@gmail.com.

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