independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

No refunds for angry rock fans

Guns N' Roses came back to play full set: MCD

Singer Axl Rose and guitarist DJ Ashba on stage at the O2 before walking off

GUNS N' Roses fans angered by this week's controversial concert at Dublin's O2 must go to the Small Claims Court if they want a refund for the inconvenience caused.

The Irish Independent has learned the National Consumer Agency (NCA) will not force MCD, the concert promoter behind the gig, to refund the tickets of those affected, or pay any sort of compensation.

And as a result, the NCA has admitted that the only route open to disgruntled fans seeking redress is to fight the issue with MCD in the courts.

Despite mounting anger at the reportedly shambolic concert on Wednesday night, MCD has categorically ruled out any ticket refund to fans who attended.

Thousands were left fuming after the band forced them to wait before emerging on stage at 10.24pm.

Then, just 25 minutes into the gig, the band's frontman Axl Rose suddenly departed from the stage.

The band had been half way through their second song of the night -- the iconic opener of their debut album 'Appetite for Destruction' -- 'Welcome to the Jungle', when Rose stopped singing after a bottle was thrown on stage.

He warned the crowd the band would walk off in another bottle was thrown.

Three songs later, they did just that when another missile landed on the stage.

A large proportion of the crowd at Dublin's O2 immediately left the venue.

The move forced Denis Desmond, the head of MCD Promotions, in charge of managing the event, to appear on stage and appeal for calm.

Fans were forced to wait another 40 minutes until the band finally re-emerged at 11.30pm to a rendition of 'Sweet Child O' Mine'. They then played until just before 1am.

Last night, Michael Kilcoyne of of the Consumers Association of Ireland insisted that some form of compensation was required.

"Consumers bought a ticket to this concert on the basis that the lead singer would be on time and would not walk off in the middle of the show," he said.

"Consumers were inconvenienced by what happened and they are entitled to some sort of credit from MCD or a half refund of their ticket."

"I would urge the NCA to intervene in this row and ensure that the fans affected get the redress they deserve."

However, a spokeswoman for the NCA last night insisted that while the matter would be kept under review, no action would be taken against MCD.

"The NCA has reviewed the situation and it does not look like there are grounds for an enforcement action against MCD.

"Consumers can make a case to MCD in writing, in relation to a refund.

"They will also be able to take a case to the small claims court under the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act if they believe the terms of the contract with MCD was not fulfilled."

Appeals

In a statement last night MCD and the management of The O2 admitted that every effort had been made to get the band on stage at the required time.

"Despite his [Axl Rose] continued appeals, having tried to continue performing for 22 minutes, people continued throwing unknown substances leaving the artist with no choice but to leave the stage,"it said.

"While the artist has a long history for being late on stage, no artist should be subjected to missiles and unknown substances being thrown at them."

MCD insisted refunds would not be provided.

"Once people stopped throwing items, Guns N' Roses returned on stage and performed their full set list of songs, so the issue of refunds does not arise," a spokesman said.

Irish Independent

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