Anger grows over refund snub

Amanda Cook updates the Stereophonics ticket story.

The anger of out of pocket Stereophonics fans continues to rise as news of the total number of people affected by March’s red and amber weather warnings throughout the UK has begun to emerge.

The band played on in Birmingham and Wembley on 1st and 2nd March despite pleas from thousands of fans throughout the day for postponement as the Beast From The East left fans facing train cancellations, impossible driving conditions, and Met Office warnings not to travel unless absolutely necessary. Dozens of other events on those dates were cancelled or postponed.

Local press in the Midlands had reported that “over 8,700” fans attended the show at the 15,000 capacity Genting Arena on 1st March. There had been no press reports of audience numbers at Wembley the following evening, but posts on the growing Facebook group Let Down by the… Stereophonics , which now has almost 300 members, have stated that reference was made to 4,000 missing fans by the band’s frontman Kelly Jones during the London show.

With thousands of fans now known to have been left out in the cold from all areas of the UK across the two dates, disappointed concert goers are incensed that the band’s management continue to ignore the campaign for refunds when tickets with a potential value of £500,000 were left unused. Pleas for goodwill by Facebook group moderators are currently being met with a wall of silence from the band’s management and ticket agents.

The anger of those affected was amplified by the social media activity of the group’s drummer Jamie Morrison, who appeared to revel in their dismay in the weeks that followed the shows by liking several tweets mocking those out of pocket for not paying for ticket insurance at the time of booking. The band had publicly stated in the aftermath of the Birmingham show that fans should hold to their tickets as they were working with the venue and promoters to address the situation, and an update would follow shortly.

Instead, no further official announcement came and when individual emails began to be sent out from 23rd March offering some fans £25 off total bookings of tickets to the Rize Festival in Chelmsford, 150 miles away from Birmingham, the 14-day deadline for claims to be made by those who had paid for insurance had passed.

Many fans in the Facebook group received no offer of the festival discount at all, and some with insurance have been told that their terms do not cover them in these circumstances, particularly when organisers publicly insisted that local authorities were adamant that conditions were safe enough for the show to go ahead as planned.

There has been a marked contrast between the handling of the matter by Stereophonics and the approach taken by other high-profile live acts due to play in the region during the weather disruption. Paul Weller, in postponing his Genting Arena show the night after the Stereophonics gig, said: “We want to make sure that everyone stays as safe as possible.” Elbow, postponing a night later, said: “The safety of all fans is paramount,” while local heroes Magnum, whose Town Hall gig was cancelled at the last minute, have already re-scheduled a replacement at the bigger Symphony Hall for later this month.

26 thoughts on “Anger grows over refund snub

  1. I had purchased 3 tickets for this show and have been left extremely disappointed by the actions of the band and their management by the way they have treated not just the fans who couldn’t attend thr Birmingham show, but also those who couldn’t get to the Wembley show.
    No consideration for their fans at all, just concerned about making more money.

  2. I lost 5 tickets with friends. We were looking forward to going even though we live in the Cotswolds. The advice on any media was not to travel due to the snow. We perhaps could have reached the arena but during the concert the conditions worsened and so we would either have to leave early of risk a dangerous trip. The offer of a discounted ticket to a low selling event even further away was not a worth while result. The group have renamed on their promise to help us. Disappointed does not even cut it.

  3. HAD 2 tickets for the Friday at Wembley.. feel very angry that the band has taken the money and ran … no updates on there websites just leaves a very bitter taste in your mot.. I’ve been going gigs for very long time .. I’ve actually seen the phonics 13 times … I can’t get a refund from my ticket purchaser because the gig went ahead … with local authorities telling not to travel .. police telling you not to travel Waterloo and St Pancras both shutting at 9 I think it was diabolical that the band went ahead but I suppose money means more to them than the safety fotheir fans … Y

    Yours Reaaly Peeved off in Welwyn Tony Markham

  4. I have seen this band nearly 30 times and am shocked at how I and my fellow fans have been treated. I find the behaviour of their drummer online a particular kick in the teeth. I bought the tickets for me and my step father as a Christmas gift. He is head of the Gloucestershire 4×4 response unit, so he of all people understood the severity of the weather warnings as wasn’t prepared to take his well equipped vehicle out. I really hope the band persuade their management to do the decent, honest thing and refund those who couldn’t make it.

  5. I had tickets for all three of the concerts mentioned in this article. Paul Weller made the right call for the fans putting them before profit and a rescheduled gig was announced quickly. Elbow did go ahead on the Saturday with the weather being much improved however they informed fans early on that, if they were unable to make it due to the weather, then their tickets would be valid on the remaining tour dates. Evidence of both putting fans safety first- shame that this wasn’t the case for Stereophonics whose management need to address this wrong by reimbursing the thousands who did put safety first or were completely unable to travel.

  6. We were due to travel up from Bristol. The tickets were a Christmas present from our son. We were advised not to travel and seeing my wife has fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis there was no way I was risking our life or her health to travel as the weather deteriorated really quickly. Public transportation was cancelled and even a friend in Birmingham couldn’t get there.
    There was an announcement due in a few days but almost a month later we received an insulting £25 off a festival ticket. This would mean more expensive for us. Maybe the band could have allowed the thousands that didn’t make it to see them elsewhere but apparently this is not possible. Elbow and Paul Weller handled the situation with the concern of their fans. Unfortunately Stereophonics didn’t and the comments of their drummer are pretty poor. Maybe a bit of humble pie might be in order as it is your fans that have got you where you are

  7. I love the Stereophonics but feel very let down by this. We simply couldn’t get there. There were reports of train cancellations – buses not running – and we could not get our car out of our road. With two children we couldn’t risk walking to get a train to then be abandoned on the outskirts of Birmingham. Please think again boys!

  8. I had 3 tickets for the 2nd of March (SSE Wembley)
    It was to be my youngest daughters first concert and she was very excited which soon turned to a big disappointment due to the weather stopping us from leave our home in West Oxfordshire with road that had such big snow drifts nothing could pass on them.
    I contacted Natalie the Stereophonics PA and waited 3 weeks to be fobbed of with a £25 discount for a concert in Chelmsford, the discount wasn’t £25 for each ticket but £25 in total.
    The lack of sympathy and the general uninterest coming from Stereophonics has been very disappointing, we are their fans, we helped them get to where they are now and they don’t give a hoot but seem to like the money we paid not to see them.

  9. We live 30 mins away from the Genting Arena Bham but after trying to make the journey on 1st March we had to make a sensible decision to abandon the idea of being able to get there safely. We returned home extremely disappointed that we were not going to be able to see the Band we have been waiting years to see. We had been calling for the concert to be cancelled all day as that would have been the right decision given the unprecedented weather conditions. All we could hope for was that our tickets would either be valid for a future Stereophonics tour or we would be refunded the cost of the tickets. Kelly Jones’s statement after the gig gave fans false hope that we would be able to use tickets for a future gig. As this seems increasingly unlikely to happen we are now asking for full refunds because the BIRMINGHAM AND WEMBLEY gigs SHOULD HAVE BEEN CANCELLED REFUND US PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING! Thank you.

  10. I’m just one of many, I’d phoned The Genting the day before the gig and was told all the roads around were clear and that the concert would indeed go ahead. All well and good if you could get onto those clear roads in the first place, I drive a VW UP, basically a sewing machine on wheels, not brilliant even on a light covering of snow, was I going to risk life and limb? obviously not. Even driving to the train station would have been dangerous. Through experience I know that trains out of Birmingham are cancelled at the drop of a hat, so a loose/loose situation. The event should have been cancelled, the band could not give one damn about people’s well being, the weather news was all over the TV and radio, with the advice not to travel! And as for that drummer, well insult to injury, no words!! Finally, I did not get an email with the £25 pound discount offer to Rize festival, even if I had, just another insult, a reworked V festival? no thank you, and apparently there was a four day window to purchase your tickets, four days when I was on holiday with no internet access!!

  11. I had 3 tickets for the Friday night in London, we looked at all the alternatives for travelling, public transport was not an option as with all the disruption we couldn’t guarantee a safe journey to and from the venue.. The snow was still coming down in Oxfordshire and we decided to listen to the weather warnings in place and that driving was too risky …. I adore the band and I am genuinley gutted at how this has all turned out, I’m even more shocked at the disgusting way those who chose not to risk travelling have been labelled as ‘pathetic’ or ‘not true fans’, and have had these opinions endorsed by a band member… I didn’t want my money back I wanted to see the band… The social media interactions surrounding all of this has shown me how rude and self absorbed people are, I’m glad those that could make it did and got to experience how awesome Stereophonics are live.. What a shame they are unable to understand those who couldnt and to publicly ridicule people for being disappointed and frustrated…

  12. I live in rural Staffordshire about 40 miles from Birmingham and had 2 tickets to see Stereophonics. By 4.30 pm on 1st March the snow was already at hedge height outside our house so we made the disappointing but absolutely correct decision not to travel- by 6.30pm the road was blocked. The red and amber weather warnings that were in place on that day were there for a reason as it was not safe to travel and there was a risk to life. The concert should have been postponed or cancelled -the organisers acted irresponsibly. As frontman Kelly Jones said on the night at the Birmingham concert “ it’s a unique situation”, so I would suggest that in a unique situation loyal fans hard earned money should be refunded.

  13. I had 2 tickets for the Birmingham gig but as I live in Glasgow there was just no way I could get there by car, train or plane. I never received any communication from the ticket agency or bands PR until a few days ago stating there was nothing they can do, no discount offer for the festival was given. I am extremely disappointed as my non attendance was out of my control and I received refunds for my train fare and hotel with no issues so why not refund the ticket cost???

  14. Love love loved Stereophonics. Bought two tickets for Stereophonics at Birmingham on 1st March as a birthday treat, I work in Birmingham city and had been up there in the morning, I had to take my daughter to an audition up there in the afternoon and the weather was getting worse all day. I had to bring her home via train and then return back to Birmingham for the show later (14 miles from home). The journey home was horrendous, taking 2-3 hours, and as the weather was just getting worse, we took the advice and decision it wasn’t worth risking our lives or getting stuck and not getting back for the kids. So disappointed by this band and their handling of this whole situation, shame I just cannot feel the same way about them now.

  15. This band has shown contempt towards the many fans who could not male it to the concert. First came the false promise, then the derisory offer of £ 25 off 1 ticket to festival miles away. Then their drummer liking comments that have mocked the people who were unfortunate not to attend. It is a shameful way to treat people who have worked hard to afford tickets.

  16. Anita
    I had four tickets for March the 1st , couldn’t get there because of the weather , promised another gig , let down by the stereophonics, and genting arena .

  17. I lost the money for 2 tickets for missing the Birmingham gig on March 1st. There was absolutely no way of me getting there. I feel let down by all concerned as I think it should have been cancelled and fans health and safety put first. I’ve not been offered a discount for any festival but don’t feel that’s good enough anyway! Really disappointed us fans have had to go so far as to join a group that have all been let down, we should have been refunded straight away, now it’s had a very negative impact on all. Such a shame.

  18. Yes we had 2 tickets to go to Genting Arena to see our fab Welsh lads in concert but it was impossible for us to travel from S Wales given the dire weather conditions nationwide and the fact that there was a Red Weather Alert in place for Wales Even if we had been foolish enough to travel the enjoyment of their concert would have been taken away as we would have been concerned re getting back home and if we had been stranded or involved in an accident we would not have expected the emergency services to put their lives at risk for us given that the advice had been not to travel unless absolutely necessary As you have heard and with no doubt will continue to hear this whole episode has been a fiasco We have always loved the Sterophonics but this has left us so disillusioned that we are considering withdrawing our support for them

  19. I live in East Sussex and had 2 tickets for Saturday 3rd of March at Wembley and like everyone else here, could not get to it because of the lack of public transport, dangerous/closed roads and red alert official warnings. I’m extremely disappointed by the attitude of a band I’ve been a big fan of since the mid 90’s. I kept contacting them via their social media pages, I contacted the Wembley arena too and the website where I bought my tickets from and no reply whatsoever. Since 3rd of March, ZERO communication from the band or their management or the Wembley arena. The band could not even take 5 minutes to make a statement to all their unlucky fans, showing some sympathy and care, I’m totally disgusted. The worst is to find out that a member of the band (Jamie Morrison) keeps liking tweets with nasty comments about all of us complaining about ‘a bit of snow’ and missing out on the gigs, showing that the band is well aware of the situation and of our messages/complaints and is just mocking us. I have also never received any communication about the discount ticket for that festival. I have totally gone off this band and all I want now is a refund for my tickets.

  20. We have been fans of Stereophonics from the beginning and were really looking forward to seeing them on 1st March in Birmingham. We feel very let down by the venue and promoters in their decision not to cancel the gig at the Genting Arena, despite the weather conditions and the warnings not to travel around the area. It seems madness to expect fans and staff to risk their lives getting to the venue. How would the band, venue and promoters have felt if there had been serious accidents or worse a fatal accident that night. We feel that the right and fair thing to do would have been to reschedule the gig. This was done the following night for the Paul Weller gig, and also Elbow announced on 1st March that their gig on 2nd March in Scotland was to be cancelled due to the weather conditions. This shows that it can be done.

  21. Amanda really details and thereby exposes the flaw in the mis management of this incident by whoever was concerned in making decisions on the day and since. I am out of pocket 480.00 pounds and this unexpected experience has left a bad taste. Never thought this band would ever be involved in something like this. Been there from the beginning. Not one to hang around and have my photograph taken. Loved the music and that was it but being from the same valley thought I understood them. But no. Hey ho, fame and all that and now I don’t. Shame.

    And for the last time anyone reading this thinking insurance would have covered you. You’re wrong. Gig went ahead, no insurance can be claimed.

  22. I had tickets to the Wembley concert the following night where we have been treated in the same way. I am just incredibly sad that the fans have been dismissed. There are some awful stories around this and I just wish they had done the right thing.
    The worst thing is I have paid to see them twice more this year before this occurred and it leaves a very nasty taste

  23. We made it to the gig after a long and scary journey in the dangerous conditions. My father who was looking after our kids had a very difficult journey with the train delays. We arrived just 30 minutes before the stereophonics went on stage so missed the support act. No time to chill out before as part of our night out. Knowing that the conditions were worsening and tired from the arduous journey there we really couldn’t relax and enjoy the concert. The journey home was awful passing 3 jacknifed lorries on the m40 and having a very close call when we hit a snowdrift. Irresponsible it wasn’t cancelled and should redo the gig for free or refund everyone.

  24. I was due to attend Wembley on the Friday 1st March. Hoping all day it would be postponed or cancelled but no! They stupidly went ahead with it leaving thousands to make the decision as to whether to ‘Risk’ it or not! Public transport was basically non existent and there was not a chance I was going to risk mine or anyone else’s life driving! I have two children that I had to get home for!!! The total contempt is absolutely disgusting!! The blatant ignoring of Wembley! Not a word! And the drummers ‘likes’ on posts attacking us when wanting answers instead of silence!
    They did not show a shred of concern of the safety of ‘fans’ if they had they wouldn’t have gone ahead!!!!!!

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