“Was this a scam?” Ticket holders of postponed music festival in Charlotte struggle to get reimbursed

Hops and Hogs Festival was scheduled for October 8th, 2022 in Charlotte.
The music festival scheduled for last October never happened, and three months later, they tell WBTV they haven’t gotten their money back.
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 7:04 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - According to an Instagram account for the “Hops and Hogs Festival,” it was promoted to have beer, barbeque and live music at the American Legion Memorial Stadium.

Ticket buyers say they got none of that.

The music festival scheduled for last October never happened, and three months later, they tell WBTV they haven’t gotten their money back.

The event, promoted by Stage Left Entertainment, was scheduled to take place on October 8th.

Dawn Jones, Janae Hamilton and Mark Wallen all bought tickets.

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“We spent about 300 dollars for two tickets,” Wallen said.

Wallen was planning to drive from Ohio to Charlotte for the weekend.

He, along with many others, started getting concerned when it was announced that the event was postponed on September 20th, and they say they never heard anything about next steps.

“This just doesn’t sound right,” Jones said. “Even if they do end up holding it, I think at this point I’d just rather have the refund.”

Jones attended the fest in 2019, so she thought she could trust Stage Left Entertainment, until she didn’t.

The website for the festival was removed, and the company earned an F rating on the Better Business Bureau.

According to the BBB, that rating was in place prior to this postponement in September.

Ticket holders shared confirmation emails with WBTV that contained contact information connected to that website that no longer exists.

“I found an email address, emailed them, it bounced back,” Jones said.

Hamilton says she had a similar experience, as she tried to get reimbursed.

“I connected with events.com, and they directed me to the event organizer,” Hamilton said. “Stage Left Entertainment, they gave a phone number and email. It was an auto response. I called the number and it went straight to voicemail.”

WBTV’s Caroline Hicks called Stage Left Entertainment, and a representative did pick up.

He agreed to discuss the issue, but requested his name not be included in this report.

“Can you explain what has happened with the Hops and Hogs Festival in Charlotte and why it was postponed and then communication stopped?” Hicks asked.

“The communication didn’t stop, the communication was responded in the order it was received,” the spokesperson said. “The event was postponed for various reasons, one of which was our production company that was contracted to our event had basically cancelled us last minute did not return any of our funds.”

“Why are they not able to get a reimbursement?” Hicks asked.

“They are eligible for reimbursement once the event dates are announced for 2024,” he said. “We give them the option whether or not they want to roll their ticket over, or they can redeem their refund.”

“So why didn’t you just go ahead and tell people that?” Hicks asked. “Because from what I was reading on Instagram comments, you were telling people to contact events.com to get their refund. You did not tell them that they would have to wait until 2024.”

“They have to contact events.com because events.com is the ticket provider and so they collect the data,” he said. “The information that was told was that refunds would be available to them.”

As for Hamilton, the damage is already done and she says she likely won’t be attending in 2024.

“You really disappointed a lot of people in the Charlotte area,” she said. “Not sure if we’re going to trust this event in the near future.”

Hamilton told WBTV she was finally able to get refunded after disputing the charges with her credit card company.

Wallen and Jones say they have still been unsuccessful in getting their money back.

The spokesperson for Stage Left Entertainment said he understands the frustrations with this and suggests people contact them at info@stageleft-usa.com.

He says their website was removed because they are revamping it.

After this story aired, several people reached out to WBTV regarding similar issues they say they had with Stage Left Entertainment in 2021 after the company cancelled the Rebel Rock Festival in Orlando.

WBTV reached out to Stage Left Entertainment for additional comment and is awaiting a response.