Fans frustrated by sudden cancellation of ARGRA rodeo
The cancellation of Canada's largest gay rodeo in Strathmore took a lot of people by surprise when it was announced last month and some people are now stuck with passes that they pre-purchased online.
The Alberta Rockies Gay Rodeo Association has held the event since the 90s and it was scheduled to take place this year from June 30 to July 3 in Strathmore.
ARGRA posted a statement on its website saying that the 2016 festival would not proceed…
“We have made the extremely difficult decision not to proceed with the 2016 festival, due to take place June 30 - July 3, 2016. This decision was not made lightly and we sincerely apologize to all the people this decision affects: the fans, artists, competitors, industry partners, vendors, corporate partners, suppliers and all of our supporters within the community.”
The group has not explained why the event was cancelled and now people who purchased passes for $99 are trying to get their money back from PayPal and credit card companies.
Tickets to the event were originally made available online through Eventbrite, a self-serve ticketing platform.
The company issued a statement on Tuesday about the cancellation saying…
“Eventbrite is a self-service platform that allows organizers to create and sell tickets for their events. Although we were not involved in the production of the Canadian Rockies International Rodeo and Music Festival, we sincerely apologize for this poor experience and are working to connect with the event organizer regarding this situation.
Since the Canadian Rockies International Rodeo and Music Festival used PayPal to collect payments (and therefore not Eventbrite’s payment processing), we are unable to issue refunds directly to attendees and recommend they contact PayPal to help reach a resolution.
If attendees have any additional questions or concerns, we are here to help. They can contact our support team 24/7 by visiting https://www.eventbrite.com/contact-us."
Eventbrite also provided details on how people can go about contacting PayPal:
- If you checked out as a guest when you registered, please call PayPal at 402-935-7733 in order to file a dispute.
- If you are a PayPal member with a personal account, you can call PayPal at 402-935-7733 or file a complaint in PayPal's dispute center here: https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/helpcenter/article/?solutionId=163368&m=SRE
- If you are a PayPal member with a business account, you can call PayPal at 1-888-221-1161 or file a complaint in PayPal's dispute center here: https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/helpcenter/article/?solutionId=163368&m=SRE
The rodeo has been held in Strathmore for the last seven years and the town kicked in $10,000 from its community development program for the event and it is now also waiting to see if the money will be returned.
“We’re waiting like everybody else. We would like some information too,” said Mayor Michael Ell.
The Agriculture Society says it has lost a significant event that would've brought in $20,000 to $30,000 in rental revenue.
“The timing of the announcement, of their decision, of course, compromises us as well in that we’re trying to scramble to replace what would've been otherwise a very busy weekend here, an important weekend for the relatively short summer months with alternative uses,” said Herb McLane, General Manager, Strathmore & District Agricultural Society. “I suspect that the status of the current economy and so on has impacted their decision in a negative way so all of us have to meet those challenges and go on.”
Several music acts were also booked including Terri Clark, The Road Hammers and Dean Brody.
Representatives for the artists also learned about the cancellation online and are upset that contracts appear to have been broken and they also haven't been able to get in touch with the organizers.
Some rodeo fans are now planning a campout and cabaret in Strathmore on that weekend and the town says it will still hold its Canada Day fireworks at the Grandstand.
CTV News has made several attempts to reach ARGRA officials for comment but our calls have not been returned.
(With files from Shaun Frenette)