RIDGEDALE, Mo. (KOLR/KOZL) – After waiting in bumper traffic before the Garth Brooks concert near Branson, Missouri, many fans decided to turn around and head home.
Ticket holders spent hours stuck in traffic en route to Thunder Ridge Nature Arena in nearby Ridgedale, only to find that getting from the parking lot to the show couldn’t be easier.
“We left Kansas City around noon. We got to the Branson area around 4pm,” said Michelle Boucher, who bought tickets for Friday night’s concert. “It was 9:00pm and we were still waiting in line at the fruit farm property to catch a shuttle and people were actually already coming back from the venue on the shuttles. They told us it took them an hour to get to the venue from the fruit farm parking lot. So we thought, yeah, we don’t do that.”
Thunder Ridge Nature Arena is part of Big Cedar Lodge, a resort in Ridgedale, Missouri owned by Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops.
“They had two buses going back and forth on this line to the orchard, and those two buses held 54 people,” Boucher said. “We parked thousands upon thousands of people at the fruit farm for two buses.”
Since Friday, Boucher has spent hours calling Ticketmaster and Big Cedar Lodge trying to get some kind of refund.
“I’ve tried to contact them several times from Ticketmaster and I keep getting that the venue needs to approve the refunds in order for them to start and that didn’t happen,” Boucher said.
Regarding Big Cedar, Boucher said one of the operators took down her name, number and email address. The only refund she has received so far is parking.
“I actually paid for parking at the fruit farm with my debit card,” Boucher said. “On Monday I contacted my bank and explained the situation to them. I told them what I got, the feedback I got from Ticketmaster. And I woke up this morning and got a refund for my parking spot.”
Nexstar’s KOLR has learned that Ticketmaster has been inundated with refund requests since the concert.
“I’m grateful for my $48, but I also like my $200 that I spent on the Garth tickets,” Boucher said.
Some fans told KOLR they were lucky to get credit for their tickets.
“We ended up working with Seat Geek on Saturday and they said right away, ‘Yeah, we’ll get you a promo code just for you, just for the tickets,’ and they did it right away,” said Heather Wyrick.
Wyrick also bought tickets for Friday night’s concert. She drove from Kansas City to Springfield on Thursday.
“Originally it said it would take about 45 minutes to get there,” Wyrick said. “Just before we left it said about an hour and 45 minutes. We finally pulled into the fruit farm parking lot at about 7:35 p.m. and a police officer was there and one of the parking lot attendants and they said, ‘These people aren’t coming to this show.'”
Wyrick also called Ticketmaster and Big Cedar several times. Ticketmaster told her that she could not get a refund for her parking space.
“It was a relief that we at least got our tickets taken care of,” Wyrick said. “If I have to eat the $50 for parking, that’s what it is. I mean, as long as we get something back from all of this, it’s better than nothing.”
Some fans said after reading social media posts about Friday night’s traffic, they decided not to attend.
“I had tickets to Sunday’s concert, but seeing the… craziness of Friday put us off even going,” said Ben Braun, who traveled from St. Louis to attend the concert. “We should have left at 3:00 a.m. It just didn’t seem worth it.”
Braun also contacted Ticketmaster for a refund. He said the company will call him later this week to help with a refund.
“We didn’t want, you know, take a hotel and spend the gas to get down there, only to wait 6 hours and not even get in,” Braun said.
KOLR reached out to Bass Pro to comment on the parking issues and possible refunds, but received no response as of publication time.
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https://wgntv.com/news/nexstar-media-wire/fans-demand-refunds-following-garth-brooks-concert/ Garth Brooks fans demand refunds after Thunder Ridge concert