Frustrated Idaho Rockfest ticket buyers want to know where their refunds are

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IDAHO FALLS — Several of you have contacted our newsroom informing us you have not yet received a refund for your tickets to Idaho Rockfest. The event was cancelled 24 hours before its scheduled dates of August 24 and 25.

“Many of us ticket holders are not being refunded for ticket purchases,” one ticket buyer writes. “We have reached out to Idaho Rockfest on Facebook and via email with no luck and we’re going on 3 weeks since cancellation and the promise of a refund within 24 to 48 hours.”

RELATED | Promoters offer explanation for Rockfest cancellation

Ron Heyrend, the producer of the event for EKR Productions, tells EastIdahoNews.com a stage contractor for the show is withholding funds, which is preventing Heyrend from issuing refunds to the remaining ticket buyers.

“I wrote him a big check four days before showtime and he won’t give the money back,” Heyrend says. “He said the contract had a no refund clause in it. That’s irrelevant because he didn’t perform the work. That’s holding up a lot of ticket refunds.”

Several dozen tickets for Idaho Rockfest were purchased at Melaleuca Field, where the event was scheduled to take place. Kevin Greene, President of the Idaho Falls Chukars, says every ticket that was purchased, to the best of his knowledge, has been refunded.

The remaining tickets were purchased online through Idaho Rockfest. Heyrend says he technically doesn’t have to refund anybody because there was a “NO REFUNDS/EXCHANGES” disclaimer on the website prior to making the purchase.

Courtesy Ron Heyrend

“In my heart, I’m not that kind of a person,” says Heyrend. “We started issuing refunds before we had an equal amount of money for everybody.”

Heyrend says he has every intention of reimbursing every ticket holder once the funds are available. In the meantime, he’s hired three attorneys to get this issue resolved.

“(The contractor) will have to give the money back (eventually). He’s not going to get out of it. There’s no possible way.”

Compounding the issue, Heyrend says, is the fraudulent activity being monitored on their website that’s been traced to multiple fake profiles.

“People are upset enough as it is. For people to create fictitious accounts and stir the pot with inflammatory comments is not helping the situation.”

Prior to the cancellation of the event, a lawsuit was filed against Heyrend in Bonneville County by Todd Hutchinson with Hutch Entertainment in Tennessee. Hutchinson acted as the talent broker for the event, according to court documents.

RELATED | Idaho Rockfest promoters being sued for lack of payment

In exchange for the bookings, Hutch Entertainment was promised a 15 percent booking commission to be paid in advance of the show. Court documents show that percentage equaled out to $25,163 and had not been paid.

The lawsuit claims Heyrend is in breach of contract for nonpayment and that he never intended to pay Hutchinson. The suit claims Heyrend had been negotiating with respective bands on his own to “circumvent (Hutchinson) to pay the bands separately.”

But Heyrend says he wrote Hutchinson a check prior to the show.

“He had it fixed up so that when we wired the money it went directly to him. That’s a felony. You cannot take that money out of escrow and it’s not supposed to be in his account. There’s a lot more behind this lawsuit than what people realize.”

The way contractual agreements work for booking bands, Heyrend says, is they get 50 percent of their pay wired to an escrow account in advance before the show. That money is untouchable until they get the remaining 50 percent in cash when they show up to perform.

Heyrend says the lawsuit is a separate issue and is in no way impacting ticket reimbursements.

Meanwhile, there are some ticket holders who are still feeling frustrated and leery of purchasing tickets to any future concerts with Idaho Rockfest.

“Sure sounds like the ticket holders will be getting the raw end of this scam,” one ticket buyer writes.

“I’m an open and upfront guy,” Heyrend says. “It makes me feel really bad, but I’m working hard to sort through this.”

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