The Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival is involved in a lawsuit with a ticket seller over issues with the festival’s ticketing process last year, with both sides blaming the other.
According to the CBC, the festival is suing the Alberta-based company Canadian Live Productions Inc., which controls the platform Etixnow.com. Originally, Etixnow was the festival’s ticket platform, but after “multiple user-end problems” which “failed to ensure that they had a functional online platform” for the 2019 event, the festival switched partners. The festival claims that Etixnow’s ticket process resulted in delays, users being logged out of the site, and complaints from fans, which led to “significant losses.”
However, Canadian Live argued that the platform never crashed, disconnected users, or glitched, but rather, the limited ticket supply was to blame.
“Any and all delays in processing transactions or patron disappointment arising from the failure to obtain tickets were caused solely by the limited supply of tickets allocated to Canadian Live by the plaintiff [Harvest] which was an issue entirely within the control of the plaintiff,” Canadian Live said in a statement.
Documents note that Harvest Festival organizers requested service fees to be increased by about 40 percent, which was rejected by Canadian Live because of “concerns regarding public perception.” Ahead of the onsale in April, the ticketer reportedly requested “website and social media analytics data” to prepare for the online traffic, but never received any information. Etixnow noted that only a limited number of tickets were available, which caused a number of prospective buyers to miss out on tickets.
When individual show tickets went on sale in late April, Harvest Fest cancelled its agreement with Canadian Live and switched to the ticket-selling platform Ticketpro. During the new sale with Ticketpro, service fees were reportedly 480 percent higher than the onsale with Etixnow, the ladder notes, which led to more dismay among customers.
Canadian Live claim that Harvest Festival organizers deleted negative comments from their social media channels about Ticketpro but kept the bad reviews from customers angry with Etixnow. Additionally, the ticketer says that the festival organizers defamed the company in interviews and statements to sponsors.
At this time, neither the ticketer or festival’s claims have been proven in the ongoing suit.
The 2019 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival, which took place from September 10 through 15 , featured acts like Robert Plant, Lucinda Williams, Jason Isbell, and Nathaniel Rateliff. The 2020 edition of the festival will kick-off on September 15 and run through September 20.