A.G. Schneiderman Secures Ticket Refunds For Cancelled Bret Michaels Concert In Syracuse

SYRACUSE - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced today that consumers who purchased tickets for a cancelled concert will receive refunds from Aloha Events, a concert promoter that initially neglected to provide restitution. Ticket-holders who paid cash for the August 2010 Bret Michaels show will be refunded for the tickets they purchased.
Today’s agreement is the latest in a series of cases the Attorney General has highlighted as part of National Consumer Protection Week, a nationwide campaign to raise awareness and arm consumers against fraud. Attorney General Schneiderman reminded New Yorkers that purchases like concert tickets are subject to the same protections as other consumer exchanges (see below for tips).
"Aloha Events failed to live up to its repeated promises to refund ticket-holders and now it's time to face the music," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "My office will always stand up for consumers who do not receive the products they paid for – whether it be a concert or a major home renovation project. I encourage those with complaints about this issue or any other consumer-related matter to contact us for assistance.”
Aloha Events, LLC, owned by Michael Banks, promoted and sold tickets for a Bret Michaels concert that was to take place on August 5, 2010, at the Syracuse Regional Market.  Although Aloha Events failed to make two advance payments to the performer, it continued to sell tickets up until the day before the show.  The concert was cancelled at the last minute because the promoter could not pay the performer in full. 
Following the concert date, the Attorney General’s office received nearly 100 complaints from consumers seeking refunds. Consumers purchased tickets from various local bars, restaurants, hair and nail salons, through the concert promoter’s girlfriend, son, and members of the warm-up bands that were allegedly competing for the opening spot via ticket sales. One woman bought $520 in tickets to see her son's warm-up band perform in the show.  There is no way to retrace where consumers bought their tickets which is why the Attorney General's office urges consumers to file complaints.
The settlement agreement with the Attorney General’s Office requires that Aloha Events make monthly payments to the Attorney General’s office until there are sufficient funds collected to distribute full restitution to those consumers who paid cash.  Through the Attorney General’s consumer mediation program, consumers who purchased tickets on the internet using PayPal services have received a credit to their accounts.
In the future, Aloha Events must maintain sufficient funds in its business account to provide refunds to ticket-holders in the event of a cancellation with no rescheduled date.
Consumers who seek a refund must file a complaint, including documentation of their ticket purchase, with the Attorney General’s Office prior to April 29, 2011.  

The Attorney General offered concert-goers the following tips as they purchase tickets for upcoming shows and events:

  • When buying tickets, always check the name of the promoter to make sure you are dealing with an established and reputable promoter. In the event of a cancellation, you want to ensure that the promoter has the financial ability to refund ticket-holders.
  • Also inquire about the promoters’ refund policy to confirm that restitution will be provided in the event of a show delay or cancellation.

As part of National Consumer Protection Week, the New York State Attorney General's office has released a list of the top 10 complaints received in 2010 and tips to help consumers fight fraud.

This case was handled by Assistant Attorney Judith Malkin of the Syracuse Regional Office under the supervision of Assistant Attorney General In-Charge Ed Thompson.  Senior Law Department Investigator Andrea Burnham and Senior Consumer Frauds Representative Tracy Burt assisted in the investigation.

Consumers are encouraged to file complaints by visiting the Office’s website or calling 1-800-771-7755.