Thursday, 15 April 2010

Rocklife event - Anger as parents unable to buy tickets

Promoters deny they are to blame as poor sales lead to second day of Rock4Life event being cancelled
Anger as parents unable to buy children’s festival tickets
By Jonny Muir

Published: 15/04/2010

Parents yesterday criticised the organisers of a Highland music festival, saying they were unable to buy children’s tickets for the event.

One mother was told she could only buy adult Rock4Life tickets – double the price of children’s tickets – when she inquired at two vendors in Inverness.

It emerged on Tuesday that the second day of the inaugural festival at Whiteness, near Nairn, had been cancelled due to poor ticket sales.

Just 477 out of 20,000 tickets were sold, with acts including McFly, the Sugababes and Lemar, failing to “capture the imagination” of the Highland public.

Parents contacted the Press and Journal yesterday, blaming low ticket sales on the apparent lack of availability of children’s tickets.

One mother was told she could not buy tickets, costing £22.50, at two advertised sellers in the city-centre, Number 27 bar and a Highland Hospice shop.

Tobias Leask, of Caledonian Productions, which is organising the festival, countered the claims, insisting children’s tickets are available from both outlets, as well as Eden Court and the Eastgate Centre.

He said: “There is no problem with children’s tickets. I get reports daily and I can see that families are buying tickets.”

Karen Mackay, of Invergordon, who wanted to buy tickets for two adults and three children, said: “This is a family event, I presume, with the Sugababes and McFly, so why no children’s tickets locally?”

She said her only option was buying tickets through Ticketmaster, which she said would have incurred an 8% booking fee and a charge for postage.

She added: “I feel that having the only option of additional booking costs and postage certainly put me off and maybe this is why the event has not sold well?”

Another mother said: “We can’t buy children’s tickets anywhere. All the venues told us to purchase adult ones. The Sunday show would have been more fun for kids.

She added: “We have been waiting and waiting on the tickets to be sorted out, probably like hundreds of other parents in the Highlands.”

Rock4Life will now be a single-day event on May 1, featuring Status Quo, former Runrig singer Donnie Munro, Steve Harley and Cockney Revel and the Vatersay Boys.

Profits raised from the festival will be donated to the Highland Hospice, an Inverness-based centre for adults with incurable diseases.

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