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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 August 2007, 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK
Refund fear for Girls Aloud fans
By Mark Savage
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Nadine Coyle of Girls Aloud
The band were due to play in Newnham Park, near Plymouth
Hundreds of Girls Aloud fans fear they will not get refunds for a cancelled concert in Plymouth, after attempts to contact the promoter failed.

Billed as an "end of tour party", the pop concert, scheduled for 11 August, was called off last week.

Since then, fans have been unable to reach Edge Promotions to claim refunds for the tickets, which cost up to 40.

The band's agents, William Morris, said they were unaware of the problem and would attempt to rectify the situation.

"We were under the impression that there would be no problems with refunds and that it would be done immediately," said a spokeswoman.

I'm crying my eyes out
Girls Aloud fan
She added that attempts were being made to contact the Plymouth-based promoter to "get it sorted out straight away".

A former business associate of Edge Promotions, who did not want to be named, told the BBC News website she was "agitated and aggrieved" by the situation.

"This is quite a poverty-stricken area, and a lot of children had been saving up to pay for a ticket," she said.

"It's not right and it's not fair."

Postponed

The all-day concert, which was also to have featured local bands and chart act Booty Luv, was originally scheduled for 9 June at Newnham Park, outside Plymouth.

It was then postponed to August due to "unforeseen circumstances" - including health and safety issues.

Fans only became aware that the rescheduled date had been cancelled when a message was posted on the Girls Aloud website last week.

Girls Aloud
The band's hits include Love Machine and Biology
"The girls have now been informed by the event's promoter that the show will no longer be going ahead," it read.

"Nadine, Cheryl, Sarah, Nicola and Kimberley are really disappointed and apologise to their fans that the show has been cancelled - for reasons beyond their control."

No information was given about refunds. Edge Promotions emailed ticket-holders on 8 August to inform them it had ceased trading.

"We apologise for the inconvenience caused," read the email. "Every effort is being made in attempt to try and resolve matters relating to the refund."

"I am not sure what can be done," wrote one fan on the Girls Aloud website. "It seems we are not going to hear anything from Edge any time soon."

"I'm crying my eyes out here," wrote another, who was due to travel from Ireland for the show.

Limited refunds

Some refunds have been provided to people who bought tickets at local box offices, including the Plymouth Pavilions.

Ticketmaster says its customers were refunded in full on 7 August, while people who used a credit card should be able to claim their money back.

But fans who purchased their tickets directly from Edge Promotions have been unable to contact the company, or its managing director Shaun Hooper, for more than a week.

The BBC's calls to Mr Hooper went straight to voicemail box which is full and no longer taking messages.

Employees in the office building where Edge Promotions is based said they had not seen Mr Hooper for several days.

However, the businessman spoke briefly to the Plymouth Evening Herald last week, and said he had lost between 50,000 and 60,000 on the event.

"There was no malicious intention to do this and to rip people off. That's the last thing I would want to do," he said.

Mr Hooper blamed poor ticket sales for the cancellation - but admitted it was the first time he had tried to stage such a large-scale show.

Edge Promotions traded as Digital Knights, an IT supplier, until February this year.

Plymouth's trading standards office said it was looking into the situation.




SEE ALSO
Girls Aloud headline 'Bryn fest'
02 Apr 07 |  North West Wales
Girl groups get red noses rolling
31 Jan 07 |  Entertainment
Girls Aloud warn off 'cool' MPs
14 Dec 06 |  UK Politics
Girls Aloud album hits number one
05 Nov 06 |  Entertainment

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