Fans demand refund after Funk Fest is a flop

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Andrea Villanueva was looking forward to hearing some of her favorite groups Saturday at Funk Fest. Now she's one of many music fans who are furious.

"I feel like we were cheated by just the way they handled things," said Villanueva, who said she hardly ever complains but is making an exception for Funk Fest.

The concert was cancelled after storms moved in late Saturday, but Villanueva said the storms were only one of the problems.

The concert, with six major acts, including Keith Sweat and Bel Biv Devoe, was supposed to kick off at 6:30 p.m. at the Providence Medical Center Amphitheater in Bonner Springs, Kan., but that's not what happened.

"They were still setting up, still doing mic and sound checks," said Villanueva. "It didn't start until after 8 p.m. and even at that point it was a DJ who came out."

By the time the first scheduled act, En Vogue, took the stage, it was 8:30 p.m. Two hours after the official start time. Fifteen minutes later the weather started to get bad.

"En Vogue came out did a few songs and told us to go to our cars," said Villanueva, who had come to Funk Fest with several girlfriends to celebrate a birthday.

When Villanueva contacted Ticketmaster for a refund of her $73.50 ticket, she said she was told the concert promoter wasn't allowing refunds, claiming fans had seen at least half the concert before the weather turned ugly.

Villanueva said that claim is not true and she is one of more than 100 people who have registered their outrage on the Amphitheater's Facebook page.

FOX 4 Problem Solvers tried to speak to someone at the Charlotte, North Carolina, headquarter's of Funk Fest's promoters -- Variety Entertainment. We left both an email and a phone message, but no one has responded.

According to public records, Variety Entertainment is owned by Leonardo Bennett and was incorporated in 2009. In February, both Mr. Bennett and Funk Fest were successfully sued in a New York court for $52,000.

There still could be hope for Kansas City Funk Fest fans. A woman working for Cumulus Radio -- which hosted the event -- told FOX 4 that station management is trying to determine whether the concert can be salvaged and held at a later date. Villanueva hopes something can be done by someone.

"I mean make something right," Villanueva said. "Either do another booking of the show, give us a portion of the money back. Something."

If you also bought tickets for Funk Fest and have been unable to obtain a refund, you could file a complaint with the Kansas Attorney General's Office , as well as your credit card provider or bank, if you used a debit card.



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