Ticket broker who owes thousands strikes deal, but metro arts groups still waiting for money

Problem Solvers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -– A ticket broker who owes more than $9 million to artists and ticket holders across the country has struck a deal with the attorney general in Washington state to repay the money.

That’s promising news to two metro arts organizations that are owed a combined $10,000 by the broker.

Despite the pandemic, the Bach Aria Soloists are still making beautiful music, but for nearly a year much of it has gone unpaid. Despite having sold hundreds of tickets and subscriptions to their concerts, they never saw a dime.

“We are owed more than $9,000,” violinist Elizabeth Lane said.

They’re owed the money by Brown Paper Tickets, a Seattle-based ticket broker that suddenly stopped handing over the money for tickets and subscriptions it had sold for the Bach Aria Soloists and hundreds of other artists last year.

“We are all nonprofit organizations who rely on being paid to stay alive,” said Erin Murphy, business manager for Bach Aria Soloists. “We count on this money.”

Last month, Washington’s Attorney General filed suit against Brown Paper Tickets. This week the company entered into a consent decree with the attorney general’s office, promising to repay all $9 million.

Brown Paper Tickets blamed most of its financial problems on the pandemic, but Bach Aria Soloists told FOX4 Problem Solvers that some of the money they’re owed predated the pandemic by six months.

Brown Paper Tickets released a statement this week saying it had already processed millions of dollars in payments to customers in 33 countries and would being doing the same in the United States.

“This agreement with the Washington Attorney General is consistent with our long-standing commitment to the arts community,” a spokesman said.

Some nonprofits have already started receiving their refunds. But the Bach Aria Soloists have yet to see a dime. Neither has Summit Theater in Lee’s Summit, which FOX4 Problem Solvers spoke to last month. Summit Theater is owed $1,400.

After FOX4 reported on Summit Theater’s plight in February, a theater patron donated money to cover the loss.

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