The Backyardigans: Sea Deep in Adventure played to an excited crowd Feb. 18 at the Prince George Playhouse - but not everyone who came out for a good time left happy.
Jenny DeReis was among those Tuesday whose plans for a fun night out with the kids out were snagged by a ticket snafu.
DeReis purchased her tickets as soon as they went on sale in early November from the Ticketmaster outlet at Studio 2880 for the show, which was planned for CN Centre.
"I went down first thing in the morning," she said, explaining she wanted to get front row seats for herself and her two grandchildren, ages four and nine.
But when she arrived at CN Centre a few minutes before 6 p.m. Tuesday before the scheduled 6:30 start time, DeReis found a relatively deserted parking lot and a handful of other confused ticket holders.
After speaking to another woman, DeReis learned the show had been moved to the Playhouse and rushed over.
"I went in, showed my tickets and they said 'you'll have to talk to Ticketmaster, these tickets aren't for this event,'" she said. "So I went over to the the Ticketmaster booth and they said, 'oh sorry this is for a different show.'"
As DeReis and others soon found out, the original show had been cancelled at the CN Centre, with new tickets offered for the alternate venue at the point of purchase. The original tickets were no longer valid.
It was the fact that the show was still going on that made the mixup harder for her and the kids to stomach, DeReis explained.
"If we had just gone there and on the door there'd been a note saying it was cancelled, people are sick... that you can understand," she said. "But that you have tickets, the show is still going on, they changed locations and now they won't let you in?"
While her grandchildren ultimately handled the disappointment well, DeReis said there were other children who were clearly distraught over not getting the chance to get up close and personal with their TV icons.
"It's also an opportunity to teach kids lessons, right? Mistakes get made and things happen - we don't have any control over it - but the bigger picture is how did this happen?" asked DeReis.
The decision to change the venue was made back in January, explained an email from a spokesperson for Koba Entertainment, the show's promoter. The Playhouse also afforded them the opportunity to add a second show time in the afternoon.
"We are very sorry to hear that some of the people who purchased tickets for the Prince George show were unaware of the venue change from the CN Centre to the Prince George Playhouse," said Julijana Capone.
After the change was made and the initial CN Centre stop cancelled, Capone said a number of steps were taken to inform the community, including contacting people who purchased tickets through Ticketmaster with credit cards as well as sending out a press release on Jan. 21 and having posters put up in the community.
"Despite all of these efforts, some people were not reached," Capone wrote. "We want to ensure that people have an positive experience when attending our shows, and are sorry for the inconvenience and disappointment that this situation has caused."
A full refund is available through Ticketmaster to those with original tickets unable to attend the show at the Playhouse.
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