Months after the event was cancelled, Deaf people who bought tickets to the cancelled England Deaf Party say they are still waiting to get their money back.
The festival was due to take place in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire from Friday 8 July to Sunday 10 July, but ticket holders were told that it wasn’t going ahead and that another event will take place next year.
As we reported at the time, in February the organisers had their application for a festival licence blocked after concerns about the noise were raised by police. The festival also ran into problems after their website was reportedly hacked in March.
Since then, England Deaf Party’s site and email no longer exist, and its social media accounts display a message saying that the festival office is now closed.
Some people who paid for tickets through PayPal have been able to claim their money back through the site’s Resolution Centre, but for others, obtaining a refund has proven more difficult, after they were told to fill out and complete a claim form.
In an article on the Leighton Buzzard Observer’s website in July, one ticketholder said that she had paid £100 for two tickets, only to receive no response from the organisers.
Angie Beckett, who bought a ticket for her son Sam, told us that she paid £40 and is also yet to receive a refund on her purchase.
She said: “Sam asked me if he is okay to go. We sorted it out with accommodation then I went on the website to pay for a ticket. We waited for a while [after we had paid] and I asked for a ticket. No reply.
“Then we realised it was cancelled due to a problem. I asked for a refund [for my ticket] and have heard nothing since.
“I was told we have paid and will automatically get a ticket for 2017, but I wasn’t happy about it,” she said.
Meanwhile, Neil Johnson (above) 20, from Glasgow, says that he also paid for a ticket, but chose not to chase the organisers for his money back, saying he ‘just accepted that it’s happened, and learned a few lessons too’.
When asked what he thought about the England Deaf Party closing down its website and social media, Neil described it as “a bit cowardly.”
He said: “If things like this were to happen, which it did, the better thing to do is to try and sort it out than run away and stick their heads in the sand and hope it goes away – which it evidently hasn’t.”
We have communicated with other people who have not yet received refunds, while we have also found that that several people did get refunds after persistent efforts.
We attempted to contact the event’s organiser on a number of occasions, but he was unavailable for comment.
Liam O’Dell is mildly deaf and uses hearing aids in both ears. Alongside studying for a degree in journalism, Liam enjoys presenting his own radio show, listening to music and reading one of the many books on his ’to-be-read’ list. You can find out more about Liam over at his blog: www.thelifeofathinker.
The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. It is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
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