Angry party goers demand refunds for cancelled park event
WESTON business owners say their reputations have been ‘blown’ after they were left out of pocket by the cancellation of an event – leaving them to face angry customers demanding their ticket money back.
Party In The Park promised a feast of music, food and children’s activities at Clarence Park last Saturday, but due to the wet weather it was cancelled.
It was the second time the event failed to go ahead, after its initial date of August 25 was also washed out.
Businesses who helped sell tickets say they were left to find out the party was over through the Mercury’s website - and they have now hit out at difficulties they have encountered in trying to contact organiser Andrew Poynter to secure refunds for customers.
Woodspring Taxis co-owner Kirsty Walrond became one of the ticket sellers after she met Mr Poynter in July.
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She said: “There were a few of us helping him by selling his tickets and now all the people who bought them are coming to us.
“I have had some pretty nasty emails but every time I got money I would let him know and he would be there promptly to collect it.
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“It’s disgusting to drag a lot of local people down who have worked really hard to work up a reputation in the town. He’s blown it all.
“I can understand why people are getting irate, as some have spent more than �100 on tickets.”
So far the only contact Kirsty has had with Mr Poynter is through a message he left on the Party In The Park website.
The comment, left on October 4, said: “The only person who should be held responsible for the cancellation of Party In The Park is me, Andrew Poynter.
“I went into this venture with my eyes wide open, but I am first to admit I got so many things wrong.
“It was never my intention to let one person down, let alone a lot of people.
“All people that I owe money to will be repaid, I am just asking for a bit of time.
“I put my heart and soul into this, and whatever people want to say about me, nobody can say I did not give this my all.”
Another ticket seller, Karen Gianfrancesco, who manages Weston’s Print Sign Shop in Whitecross Road, said she had sold around �700 worth of tickets and has been left with the same problem.
She said: “We helped Andrew out with his printing and tried to help him with the ticket sales. As a local business we tried to lend a hand, something I will never do again.”
Mrs Walrond added: “He also sold me an advertising plot, where he would display a big banner at the event, for �175, so we have also lost that money.
“It’s embarrassing because I have also sold tickets to friends and family, and one lady bought a ticket for a marquee on the day which cost �170.
“It’s not as if we are talking about a little bit of money.”
Several attempts were made by the Mercury to contact Mr Poynter, but as we went to press yesterday (Weds) he had yet to respond.