By Claire West
Paula Wynne of iHubbub is leading the charge to find the few hundred Mumford And Sons fans who were sold fraudulent tickets for ‘The Road To Red Rocks’ at The Guildhall in Portsmouth last night.
After a disastrous night Paula wants to find and help all of those disappointed souls who were sold fraudulent tickets and find a positive outcome for them.
Paula’s story went from an all-time high and quickly plummeted into heartbreak. Her partner, Ken Sheridan had bought tickets for them to see Mumford And Sons from the Viagogo online ticketing site a few weeks ago for Paula’s birthday.
It was due to be Paula’s first ever live concert so they gave their staff at iHubbub [an online home business community] the day off, they drove down to Portsmouth really getting into the grove by blasting Mumford And Sons CDs all the way and then booked into a hotel.
They had a meal and dashed over to The Guildhall early - to make sure they got a great place. Ken had bought standing tickets so they could be up front and rock to Mumford’s lively tunes.
Then disaster struck. They were told their tickets were fraudulent (A real 'Little Lion Man' chorus moment)! Absolutely gutted, Ken and Paula were turfed out along with hundreds of others and joined another queue — this one teaming with crying fans.
Ken believes the common factor was not the money that was lost, which run into hundreds per person, but the fact that these people couldn’t see the band. He said: “It wasn’t a human disaster, but boy was it a kick in the gut!”
Both Ken and Paula felt that the staff at The Guildhall could have handled the situation with a softer touch. The manager was particularly harsh. Of course she was doing her job, which was becoming a nightmare for her with more and more fraudulent ticket holders walking in the door, but in a crisis like that she could have been more understanding of people's heartbreak.
The couple believe as many as 200 and more people may have had fake tickets from various sources.
Paula said that the story is really about all of those people who had their dreams slashed. She said: “They love these guys like we do. Young and old came from all over the south to enjoy Mumford playing live. There were even some guys who had come from the States.”
She went on to add that it would be great to find Dan, a young man who cried openly, unashamed of his huge disappointment at finding his tickets were fake, the father from Weymouth who went from ‘Hero to Zero’ in 60 seconds after taking his daughters out of school so they could see the Mumford rockers, the family of four who had their 'stone rolled away' from them and the couple who had a big argument when they were shown the door by officials.
Paula said: “If you got your tickets at Viagogo, get hold of them so they can fix this mess for you, but do let us know your outcome.”
Paula has set up #FindMumfordAndSons200 and a Facebook page with the same name [https://www.facebook.com/FindMumfordAndSons200] to find the hundreds of fans who were as disappointed as she was last night. She is asking Mumford And Sons fans to tweet if they were there and share their experience.
The couple now want to alert Mumford And Sons unsuspecting fans from buying tickets online and stress that people should only buy from valid companies like Viagogo and others that guarantee their tickets.
Ken said: “If you’re in the business of selling happiness, giving their money back doesn’t fix it for them. This is where Viagogo have been impressive. They realise that they have to go beyond a refund.”
Viagogo have already confirmed in writing to Ken and Paula that they have been given a full refund today. They have also booked the now jubilant couple to see Mumford And Sons at the O2 on 11th December with standing tickets to they can rock to Paula’s first live concert - at no cost!
Although last night they went to bed very worried about getting their money back and seeing Mumford in the near future, they are now thrilled with Viagogo for coming to the rescue so quickly.
Viagogo spokesman Ed Parkinson said: “It’s heartbreaking for us to see this happen to fans of Mumford And Sons. It’s our mission to reduce the number of fraudulent tickets being sold — that’s why we have a guarantee and any fan that had a problem will be fully refunded.
In this case, we have also decided to offer them tickets to another Mumford And Sons gig with our compliments, or a voucher to the same value. Sellers on viagogo aren’t paid for their tickets until buyers have successfully attended the event, so it’s baffling why anyone would sell fake tickets through us as they simply won’t get paid.”