Sir Tom gig organiser tight-lipped on refunds

Sir Tom Jones in concert at Alnwick Pastures. 'Picture by Jane Coltman
Sir Tom Jones in concert at Alnwick Pastures. 'Picture by Jane Coltman

The under-fire organisers of the failed Sir Tom Jones gig are still NOT in a position to discuss compensation with disappointed concert-goers – almost two weeks after the gig and amid increasing pressure from fans for their money back.

And payments are being withheld from Loose Cannon Events until a report into the concert is completed, according to Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who says she has been in direct touch with the ticket sales organisations.

It comes after a power failure brought the Welsh legend’s set to an abrupt end at Alnwick Pastures on Saturday, August 8 – prompting calls from those in the 7,500-crowd for refunds. Show-goers have also slammed the organisation of the event, with a range of complaints, from safety concerns to access issues.

But director of Loose Cannon Events, Neil Winterbottom, has said that while these issues are important, the abandonment of the concert is his priority.

He has vowed to publish the facts once they are available, but remains tight-lipped over the thorny subject of reimbursement.

Mr Winterbottom said: “Loose Cannon is a small, independent company and we used our best endeavours to organise the Tom Jones concert with a team of proven and experienced people, together with fully complying with all statutory requirements.

“In staging a concert of the calibre and size of the Tom Jones concert, we brought on board recognised experts in their chosen fields, along with agencies and partners including Live Nation, Ticketmaster,Skiddle, Groupon, Alnwick Castle and the Northumberland Safety Advisory Group and its partners. Their help and assistance was, and still is, greatly appreciated.

“With the Tom Jones concert, the main issue is undisputable, that due to reasons beyond our control and reasons not yet known, both generators that were synchronised together failed.

“We contracted a large national company. This company provides generators to many large-scale events and were engaged to look after the production’s power needs; they fully installed and had staff on site for the duration of the concert. The failure of the generators caused the abrupt end to the concert.

“People have listed various other issues and while we respect these comments, it is the abandonment of the concert that we believe we need to address as a priority. As soon as we have the facts and information available, this will be made public. As a company, until the principal issue of the generators failing is resolved, we are not in a position to engage in any discussion about compensation.

“We appreciate that this is what ticket-buyers want to know about, but the facts need to be established and confirmed and the legal involvement needs agreement between a number of parties. This must be finalised before we advise on compensation.

“This is not how we had envisaged our flagship event concluding and I would like to again apologise for concert-goers’ disappointment. As previously mentioned, all emails are being replied to and will be responded to within 28 days.”

Anne Marie-Trevelyan has been inundated with hundreds of emails from frustrated show-goers seeking compensation and she said that she would continue to push the organisers for money back. She added: “We have been in direct contact with all the ticket sales organisations and they are all holding funds – ie not paying out to the promoter – until a full report is completed.”

Alnwick Castle, which hired out the Pastures to Loose Cannon, has been pushing for compensation for those who attended the event. A spokeswoman added: “We sold tickets and we are holding on to this money until Loose Cannon clarifies its position on compensation.”

Skiddle said it could only promote refunds once the organisers agree a way forward, but could not comment on holding back funds. We didn’t receive comment from Ticketmaster before deadline.