Pick one Wilco Fan: Get a Covid, or kiss $6000 goodbye

Mitch Tempanard is hopeful he will test positive for Covid. The 47-year-old resident of Orange County, California is one of the many Wilco fans who are eagerly awaiting the band’s SkyBlueSky Festival in Cancun. The multi-day festival is set to begin January 17 and features Spoon, Kurt Vile, Stephen Malkmus, and Thundercat, among others. But due to the high Omicron variant and the Cloud 9 promoter showing no signs of returning refunds for several thousand resort/ticket packages worth thousands of dollars, tempanard He left with the difficult decision to go to Mexico and get caught there if he caught the virus, or watch nearly $6,000 go down the drain.

With two vaccines and a booster shot, Timbanard doesn’t worry he’ll be seriously ill, but having a mild case after arriving means he’ll be stuck in quarantine in Mexico for several days longer, and he can’t miss extra days of work or be away from his children for longer than the original vacation plans. He claims that arresting a mild case now and obtaining a doctor’s note that he has recovered and is no longer contagious is the most certain way to ensure that he can go to Mexico and return freely.

Timbanard says he contacted Cloud 9 and was told that refunds are not available. While he is buying travel insurance, he is not allowed to cancel for any reason. He is unsure of the options he has left.

“Everything is crazy,” he says. “The mentality they put us in is insane, as I now hope to get this sick to avoid getting caught in a foreign boycott or losing thousands of dollars. I know deep down that the chance to go is over for us, plus if we get sick I don’t want to be stuck in a hospital in America Latin. But I still wish to hope.”

Timbanard is a fanatic among thousands of ticket holders for Cancun shows, but his feelings reflect one many fans have said rolling rock: They get very little information from performers and organizers and have no idea what to do other than lose their money or attend a show they don’t feel comfortable going to.

After seeing the Deadheads get an option to refund for their play dates at Sand Cancun (after weeks of lobbying from fans), and after the event’s sudden cancellation on Thursday, others followed suit. Nearly 800 people have signed a petition asking for refunds for the Wilco Festival, and petitions for refunds for Cancun shows from Luke Bryan, Dave Matthews and the Avett Brothers are also getting hundreds of signatures.

CID Presents, who ran the canceled Dead Show, requires a negative covid test within four days of check-in for upcoming Bryan, Matthews and Phish shows, and gigs Matthews and Phish also require proof of vaccination. Cloud 9, promoter of the Wides wide Panic and dates Cancun Avett Brothers along with Wilco, requires a negative test to be taken within two days of check-in.

While some ticket holders have lauded the promoters’ strong covid policies, fans in some cities are concerned that they may not be able to get a scheduled test in the two-day window or not get results in time. Then there is the uncertainty that the plane will take off given all the cancellations airlines faced during the surge. However, the biggest fear remains getting sick on the way to the concerts or at the resort, which will force attendees to stay in Mexico for several days longer than expected. Although this is not a problem for some concertgoers, those who have children at home or jobs that do not allow remote work cannot take the risk.

“Cases were low. Looking back, we wish we had bought the insurance, but I was pretty sure they would cancel if this happened,” says 56-year-old Susan Bukowski of Chicago. “I want a refund, but it’s also the principle here, where promoters don’t choose fan safety. “

On January 1, Cloud 9 sent out an email to fans stating that “economic facts prevent us from offering full refunds.” The email further specified that Cloud 9 was ready to assist fans who did not wish to attend the transfer to another fan in the queue, and that the company would waive the transfer fee.

Bukowski says the ticket resale market is low due to the surge and describes Cloud 9’s email as “offensive.” “The email was deaf, and that’s what we got from them,” she says. “THey, they didn’t move the post from where Covid was in June.”

Bukowski says she emailed Cloud 9 multiple times, but was also told that refunds were not available. Mark Hernandez, 48, a fan of Luke Bryan in Los Angeles, has faced similar issues with the singer’s upcoming Crash My Playa show, which he and his wife have spent more than $2,000 on. He started communicating with CID about a refund just before Christmas and followed up on it several times, but was told he couldn’t get a refund.

“No one thought that was where we would be with the cases now; there is a lot of risk to go to,” Hernandez says. “After the dead offered refunds, I thought we’d extend the same courtesy. IWe go so far as to say that the expectation is that the CID will now cancel. How should we have any faith that this is being done correctly given how they abruptly canceled the Dead Show when people actually arrived? I don’t want this to happen to me.”

The CID did not respond to a request for comment for this story. A representative for Brian confirmed to rolling rock That show will go on.

Amy Sutherlin, 62, of Jackson, Missouri, is getting so worried about Dave Matthews’ show that she spent more than $7,000 in mid-February, and like any other fan who’s talked about this story, has gotten little response from promoters. I have reached out to Dave Matthews Fan Club as a member and are awaiting their response. (Reps for Dave Matthews’ squad did not respond to a request for comment.)

With the Wilco Show in particular, the band and singer Jeff Tweedy say they have no control over refund and pricing policies, and that these decisions depend exclusively on the promoter.

In connection with the Sky Blue Sky Festival, Wilco has been contracted independently to perform at the event and use his name to promote ticket sales, in the same manner as most other live performances by the group,” a representative of the band said in a statement. The sole responsibility for all ticketing policies, including prices and availability of refunds or credits.”

Tweedy publicly addressed fans’ concerns for the first time Thursday night during a live broadcast session on Instagram, echoing the band’s statement.

“I understand 100% of all the anxiety, anger and confusion that has been surrounding the SkyBlueSky Festival,” he said. “Wilko, we are in a similar boat to everyone, obviously not the same boat, but a similar boat in that we are trying to figure it out. We are a contracting entity for this event…Hopefully there will be some situations that clear up and remedy themselves in a way that makes everyone happy. I find that these An unlikely outcome at this point. I don’t think anyone is intentionally trying to sleep anyone. I think there are a lot of rocks and a lot of hard places to be on this particular subject.”

When presenting fan concerns and Wilco’s statement, Cloud 9 noted that there are “exclusively external offering security protocols”.

“The safety and security of all attendees, artists and crew is of paramount importance at all times,” the company said. “While some fans may be concerned about the evolving nature of the pandemic, many others remain enthusiastic about their travel plans and navigate these times safely,” the company said. All of this is closely monitored through active discussions with local authorities and healthcare experts. Organizers will continue to assess the feasibility of upcoming events to determine if they can proceed in a safe manner prior to each event. A refund, or the ability to reserve someone’s place for a rescheduled date, will be available to buyers if an event is postponed.”

The desire to stop shows is not universal. The Facebook pages of many shows are often controversial, with some fans questioning the seriousness of the new format and saying that the reluctance of some ticket holders should not change the course of the show or prevent fans who want to go from enjoying concerts on the beach. .

But as Dead & Company’s canceled party showed, the visuals of the show’s presentation go beyond fans. If the artists or crew get sick, shows can’t go on. There is still a risk of severe disease as well, even if it is less likely for those who get the vaccine and boosters.

“I’m really on the fence now,” Sutherlin says. “I really hate to lose all that money, but the thought of getting stuck isn’t cool. And sYes, you have a rare outbreak and you get it Sick Sick. There are hack cases of people getting really sick, even if they are rare. You are now in hospital in a foreign country. I do not want it.

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