Just one day before the hotly-anticipated Blue Ridge Rock Festival begins in Blairs, VIP wristband passes that have been promised by North Carolina-based ticket purveyor Etix have not been delivered to many of those who ordered them.
Many who bought VIP passes have lashed out toward festival organizers in anger, seeking refunds and denouncing their attendance.
Purpose Driven Events CEO Johnathan Slye voiced his own dismay via Facebook Sunday night.
“It is absolutely disgusting to me, heartbreaking what Etix has done to this festival. The comments in our Facebook page crush me,” Slye wrote. “Their sole mistakes have cost the festival such a devastating PR impact that you have fans from across the country vowing not to attend – or ever come back – because the festival is a ‘crap show.”
According to Slye’s post, he is upset with what he suggests is a lack of professionalism shown by Etix.
“[Etix is] lying profusely and failing to fulfill their contract, is doing near irreparable damage to our brand and jeopardizing the festival,” Slye wrote. “This is why I’m pissed off. We are defying norms to fight for the fan in every way possible, but one company’s actions have flipped the narrative to make people believe we are trying to screw them.”
Slye, at the end of his post, made the note that Blue Ridge Rock Festival is spending thousands out-of-pocket to improve the infrastructure of the event.
Director of operations at Blue Ridge Amphitheatre, Cara Fischer, sent the Star-Tribune a formal statement in regards to the ticketing incident.
“As one of the few independent festival promoters in the country, we’ve always prided ourselves on delivering a fan driven experience,” Fischer wrote. “This year, we know many of you have experienced some setbacks with the ticketing outlet handling Blue Ridge Rock Festival.”
Though Fischer, Etix wished to send a statement to the public in attempt to douse the flames.
"As an independently run ticketing company, Etix is proud to partner with Purpose Driven Events for the 2021 Blue Ridge Rock Festival,” the statement began.
“First and foremost, we would like to offer a sincere apology to any Blue Ridge Rock Festival fan who experienced issues with their tickets for this year’s festival,” the statement continued.
One piece of reasoning behind the major setback of the VIP passes is disruptions created by the global pandemic.
“Unfortunately, we are not immune to the supply chain and staffing issues plaguing countless industries due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Etix stated. “These issues caused a delay in production and fulfillment of the festival wristbands. Once filled, orders were mailed with expedited shipping in time for ticket buyers to receive their wristbands before Labor Day weekend.”
According to many angered fans of the festival, these wristbands never arrived.
“We apologize if any of these shipments were not received in time and will offer shipping refunds for any patron who did not receive their wristband in the mail,” Etix assured.
Etix does not want those who bought tickets to think that they have no ticket.
“Ultimately, no one who purchased a ticket will be denied entry. If you have not received your wristband, do not worry, Blue Ridge Rock Festival and Etix staff will be able assist you on site at the festival,” Etix stated. “Please bring your order number and photo ID for on-site fulfillment.”
Etix finished their statement relayed through Fischer by saying, “We share in everyone’s excitement about this weekend’s festival, and want to let everyone know that we are working overtime to ensure your festival experience is the best it can be."