Anger as Wicksteed Park's Craig David, McFly and UB40 gigs postponed - and some say they can't get a refund

They were due to be held in August, after the current planned date for the end of Covid restrictions

By Sam Wildman
Thursday, 1st July 2021, 2:17 pm
Wicksteed Park and, inset, Craig David.

Three major gigs at Wicksteed Park that were due to take place weeks AFTER the planned end of Covid restrictions have been postponed - and some ticket-holders say they can't get a refund.

McFly, Craig David and UB40 ft Ali & Astro were due to star in shows at the popular Kettering park on August 27, 28 and 29 respectively in a bumper bank holiday weekend.

The venue's 'Comedy in the Park' event had already been postponed last month, but with Covid restrictions set to end on July 19 the August events were still scheduled to take place.

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But ticket-holders have now been told the three concerts have been moved to June 3 (McFly), June 5 (UB40) and June 6 (Craig David).

Tickets have been rolled over to next year's dates - but some have reacted angrily after being told they would not be able to claim a refund instead.

One said: "Jumping the gun again cancelling stuff think it's only fair to offer refunds rather than keeping hold of everyone's money."

Another said: "They won't refund it's ridiculous. The new date is no good and they will have the money for two years by then."

And another said: "The excuse of being cancelled due to Covid restrictions isn't good enough as this was cancelled before the extended four weeks. However other outside events are going ahead. I want a refund."

And a fourth said: "We were going to four events - now all crammed into one weekend. Hopefully credit card refund will work as I would never choose to book all these at the same time."

Wicksteed Open Air Theatre's website tells customers to check the terms and conditions of their purchase from the ticketing agent them purchased from and to contact them directly.

Some ticketholders claim they can't get a refund because of a 'force majeure' clause - unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract.

Others have reported being given able to get a refund on tickets but losing their booking fees.

They have also been told the promoter or associated partners cannot be held liable for any additional costs incurred such as booked travel or accommodation.

The events have been organised by Coventry-based promoters M&B Promotions, a firm set up in 2019, who hire Wicksteed Park as a venue.

The Northants Telegraph has contacted the firm for comment but is yet to receive a response.

When the Comedy in the Park event was postponed a statement to ticket-holders from Easy Ticketing said: "There are several reasons for rescheduling this event. Firstly, despite promises of Covid-specific cancellation insurance for live events, central government has not delivered.

"The lack of a much-needed safety net for our industry, staff and customers creates huge financial risks.

"Secondly, the potential for local restrictions to be imposed throughout the UK is an important recent change. The national picture on the pandemic changes daily - the ability to close any event, in any area, at any time, still remains.

"Without Covid-related cancellation insurance, this could cause significant financial difficulties. As a responsible promoter and employer, we simply cannot take these risks."

The postponements mean five events will now be held on five consecutive days at Wicksteed Park next year, starting with 80s in the Park on June 2 and ending with Craig David on June 6.