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Frustration mounting after no refunds offered yet for canceled Country USA and Rock USA events

Published: Jun. 16, 2020 at 3:55 PM CDT
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Frustrations are mounting for people who purchased tickets to Country USA and Rock USA. Earlier this month the event's promoter announced the musical festivals were canceled because of the pandemic. And now people who bought tickets are wondering why it's taking so long to get a refund.

A trip to Rock USA this summer was supposed to be a special mother-daughter adventure for Nicole Thonn and her terminally ill mom. But, but now the duo is out hundreds of dollars after the event was canceled.

"It's just upsetting because I could use that money to do something else with my mom this year while she's still here," says Thonn.

Shawn Nuebauer doesn't vacation at the beach, Rock USA is her big trip. She says, "We enjoy the music and the getaway and hanging out with people that are friends and family and doing the same thing. And granted, this wasn't their fault that it was canceled, we get that, but they sure didn't make this an easy thing to get through."

Those are just two of the dozens of people upset that Hypervibe, the promoter of Rock USA and Country USA, has yet to refund their money for tickets to the two events that aren't taking place this year.

In a statement released by Hypervibe on Tuesday, it says:

"ROCK USA & COUNTRY USA have, as have virtually all event promoters, been severely damaged by the fallout resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are committed, and always have been, to providing the very best entertainment line-up and great value for our patrons. We were disappointed beyond words at what has befallen society in terms of social gatherings/distancing, and therefore could not in good conscience hold the event this year.

We are working diligently with those that we are financially obligated to, including; artists, suppliers, lessors and others, and are seeking forbearance or other relief in order to utilize the funds on hand for refunding ticket holders for the 2020 events which were cancelled. Many seem willing.

Additionally, we are hopeful that the events can be held in 2021, and prepaid tickets held over until then, to the extent possible. We are trying to keep a great thing going in the face of terrible odds, and working toward bringing our events back in 2021.

Please know we are doing everything we can to keep our festivals going, and to do right by everyone involved. We understand your frustration and the pain you are feeling. This is an extremely unfortunate outcome of the pandemic that no one could have foreseen, and thus, planned for. We too have been severely hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, and are working hard to make it through, and to come up with solutions that work for everyone.

We will keep you updated with our progress as we are able and as developments progress. Thank you for your patience and understanding."

The promoter gives no timeline on when people can expect to see a refund. But, but according to the State Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection it has received nearly three dozen complaints about this Hypervibe situation.

"We've reached out to the promoter of the event and asked for a response, so we're still trying to understand what's happened," says Lara Sutherlin, Administrator for the Division of Trade and Consumer Protection.

Consumer Protection says state statute requires concert goers receive a refund if they ask for it, but the promoter has 60 days to complete the request. Sutherlin adds, "It's too soon for the violations to have taken place, but we are content with people brining it to our attention so we can get out in front of it and work with the promoter if there is if there is an issue with compliance."

That's little consolation for people like Nicole Thonn and Shawn Nuebauer.

Thonn says, "The show was supposed to be in about a month. So it would make sense, if it was canceled to get your money back before the show was supposed to be."

"We always had a good time before," say Nuebauer. Adding, "This is just really sad that it's turned out this way."