Sudbury concert controversy angers Elton John fans
Published Wednesday, February 20, 2008 1:22PM EST
A concert controversy in Sudbury, Ont. has ticketless Elton John fans demanding an explanation.
Many fans waited in line and in virtual queues to try to secure tickets to the March concert, but came up empty handed after the event quickly sold out.
Adding insult to injury, hapless fans learned that a block of 100 tickets had been set aside for the city's mayor and council -- with eight tickets available for purchase to each individual.
Kelly Wilson, an Elton John fan who waited online for over an hour to try to secure tickets, was eventually told the show -- one of just two Canadian tour stops -- was sold out. Her disappointment quickly turned to anger when she learned tickets were set aside for council.
"That really hurt," Wilson told Canada AM on Wednesdsay. "Especially the amount they were each allotted was really kind of sucky because we were only allowed to get a maximum of six tickets, and then you heard the mayor and councillors were each allowed to get at least eight."
Sudbury Mayor John Rodriguez offered an apology, saying the plan was ill conceived.
"My decision to offer so many advance tickets to council was rushed and not given sufficient consideration and for that I apologize. I hope in future with a new policy in place this type of controversy will never happen again," Rodriguez said in his statement.
Wilson said she's not opposed to councillors having first dibs on some tickets, since they likely played a role in making John's tour stop a reality. But the number of tickets was excessive, she said.
"I would have been fine with two. It's just the amount of eight that seemed ridiculous," she said.
"Hopefully Sudbury learned their lesson from doing this because they have written apologies to the other people who tried to buy tickets. But it still happened. If it ever happens again hopefully they'll do things differently."
When he made his apology, Rodriguez pointed out that Kitchener, Ont. -- the only other stop on the Canadian tour -- had done the same thing.
Kitchener Mayor Carl Zehr explained to Canada AM that it's common practice for event promoters to make tickets available to councillors. But it's up to the promoter.
"The encouragement is for us to be there to understand how the auditorium works and functions for a variety of events," Zehr said.
"This is a normal business practice. ... This is the kind of thing that is helpful for the enterprise to help out its suppliers and the people who are helping the auditorium on occasion for various event."
It wasn't clear whether those tickets were complimentary, or whether councillors and city staff in Kitchener were required to pay.