Toots and the Maytals – An utter disappointment

I was delighted to find out that one of the greats of reggae Toots and the Maytals were to play the Phoenix in Exeter and I was also lucky to have been one of the last to get tickets for this event direct from the Exeter Phoenix box office.

We arrived around 8.45 ish thinking the doors were open and the support act were probably already on stage as the times of the gig were 8-11. When we got there the doors were still locked, so we were sat outside listening to some great reggae tunes, I was well excited to hear House of the rising Dub by International Observer being played too. Time went on, and on and on, before we knew it it was 10pm door still not open. We started to get a bit worried about this. Eventually the doors opened at 10.30 thinking well if he goes on now then we will get to see most of the set before we have to go home. But no, it had got to about 10.50 and still no sign of any live music. So we decided to ask for a refund then go home.

This is where it got messy. We asked the box office whom we bought the tickets from if they could refund the money to our card. They said they couldn’t because they had already paid the promoter and we would have to get the money from the promoter. I questioned this is it was the point of sale that I bought the tickets last Friday. I asked if the promoter was around they said he wasn’t. I then asked to see a manager, by this time there was over 20 people that wanted refunds and it was building. Eventually the promoter turned up. He said that Toots wanted and extra hour in bed and that’s why the gig was running over 2 hours late. I asked him if we could have a refund, he said no. many others were getting annoyed by this, and the promoter called over a security guard. He then went on to say that he had to pay the band in advance, 5 minutes later he was changing his story and said that the phoenix had all the money and were paying Toots a cut directly and when they do that he would be able to refund people that had to leave without seeing any of the show.

We left our phone number and had to go by just after 11 the band without Toots started up and apparently toots took to the stage about 11.15. I would estimate a good 60-70 people had to leave before Toots took to the stage. Hopefully we will get a refund but this was a very annoying incident for us, I also felt very uncomfortable when the security guard was shouting at some ladies that were asking for a refund, when they were just saying that they could not stay because they had to go home and his excuse was ‘Well I got to get up at 5 am tomorrow you know’ someone replied ‘Yes but your getting paid tonight’ he then got very shirty and started waving the ticket in their face going on about the terms and conditions in the small print on the back of the ticket. I had my camera phone ready in case anything mad kicked off thankfully there wasn’t.

Anyhow got home well after midnight having seen no music at all, what a waste of a night. I hope we get a refund tomorrow.

As a Follow up I have just spoken to the Phoenix Box Office and they have promised a full refund on return of the tickets. Still upset I never got to see the band.

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