UPDATED: Hundreds of Islanders expecting to see British pop band UB40 have been left disappointed and angry tonight (Tuesday) after organisers oversold tickets for the event by around 300, leaving eager fans out in the cold.
The band, who have had more than 50 singles in the UK Singles Chart, were due to play at Ventnor Winter Gardens at 19:30, but when fans arrived for the event at 19:00 they were told there was no more room and that 300 tickets had been oversold.
Police were called to the scene on Pier Street after the disappointed fans, who had paid £30 each for tickets months in advance, became angry and frustrated at the situation.
As the music played those unfortunate enough to arrive last were forced to stand outside as discussions over refunds took place. Many of those affected say tickets were bought as Christmas or birthday presents.
Car parks in the area were full as the 700 capacity venue was filled.
A statement issued this evening says:
“The Ventnor Winter Gardens would like to sincerely apologise for the refunding of a number of purchased UB40 tickets for tonight’s concert. This is due to the promoter and the venue over selling the concert above the safe capacity of the venue as stipulated by the health and safety officer.
“The decision has been made purely for safety reasons and should in no way reflect adversely on UB40 or their management.”
One fan has told Island Echo:
“The fact that they can over sell tickets for such a small venue shows a level of incompetence”.
Another fan, Jodi Ballantyne, took a video of the busy scene, commentating on the situation.
UB40’s management and booking agent have today (Wednesday) released a statement regarding the band’s concert at Ventnor Winter Gardens last night.
“UB40 and their management are bitterly disappointed that the Ventnor Winter Gardens venue and the show’s promoters, Rock & Roll Enterprises, oversold our show on Tuesday, 19th May. This led to approximately two hundred fans to arrive at the venue being turned away. While the venue and promoter have already accepted full responsibility, we currently await a full explanation as to how they ever allowed this situation to occur. This is the very least our loyal fans deserve”.
A spokesperson from UB40’s booking agents Neil O’Brien Entertainment said:
“We are deeply disappointed with the handling of the UB40 concert at Ventnor Winter Gardens. We hold both the venue and promoter responsible for the considerable inconvenience they have put UB40 and, more importantly, their fans through. Despite the venue and promoter already accepting full responsibility for this unprofessional situation, we would like to make it clear it was the venue and promoter who provided the ticket agencies with the saleable capacity. The blame lies firmly with them.”