Ticketmaster urged to refund booking fees for Garth Brooks tickets

Ticketmaster urged to refund booking fees for Garth Brooks tickets
Garth Brooks

There are calls for Ticketmaster to refund the 400,000 Garth Brooks fans their ticket money and their booking fee after it was confirmed yesterday that all five gigs have been cancelled.

Aiken Promotions confirmed yesterday that all events have been called off - saying it had exhausted all avenues regarding the staging of these events at Croke Park.

Ticketmaster is due to reveal the ticket return process later today, describing the scale of this operation as "unprecedented in the Irish entertainment industry".

The process is likely to be complicated by the fact that the refund can only go to the original purchaser, leaving those who bought tickets from non-official sources potentially out of pocket.

"In the case of this concert you had whole lots of families going together, and it obviously would be very costly when you would be buying multiple tickets," said Fine Gael Deputy John O’Mahony, chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications, who has urged Ticketmaster to refund fans' booking fees.

"They (booking fees) should be refunded.

"The blame game has started, since the announcement yesterday, of who's at fault here - but the people that aren't at fault are the fans, and they should get their full booking fee back in addition to the price of the ticket."

Meanwhile Garth Brooks fans who forked out on hotels or flights to go to his Croke Park gigs are being warned that there's no obligation on hotels and airlines to provide a refund.

"The only people who are fully protected when it comes to hotels, travel and accomodation are people who may have booked this event as part of a package," said consumer affairs expert Andrew McCann, author of the book 'Know Your Rights'.

"The problem we have is that (when) accommodation and travel are booked separately there is no obligation on hotels or flight providers to refund the cost."

Despite this legislative loophole some accommodation and transport providers - among them Irish Rail and the Moran & Bewley's Hotel Group - have pledged to refund Garth Brooks fans.

"Customers who have booked rail travel to attend concerts which are now cancelled will be refunded in full," Irish Rail said in a statement.

Customers can call 1850 366 222 (09:00 - 18:00 Mon - Fri) or email refunds@irishrail.ie with your reservation number.

Meanwhile the Moran & Bewley's Hotel Group, which operates a number of hotels in Dublin, said in a statement it was "greatly disappointed~" to hear of the total cancellation of all of the five Garth Brooks concerts.

"We are glad to reassure our guests that all rooms, including those booked under a no-refund policy, which have been pre-paid will be completely refunded under these exceptional circumstances," the company said.

Meanwhile, although some have praised the Nashville-based singer for 'sticking to his principles'., with regard to his 'five concerts or none at all' stance, others have criticised the decision to pull the plug.

Among them is Labour TD Michael McCarthy, who said Brooks has been "petulant" and has left fans devastated.

"I think Garth Brooks is being extremely petulant," Deputy McCarthy said.

"I think there is a certain onus that man had to his fans (and) I think he let them down miserably.

"They were getting three concerts and at the end of the day I think Garth Brooks has left his fans devastated."

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