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Schneiderman sues Buffalove promoter over unpaid refunds

New York attorney-general (AG) Eric Schneiderman is suing promoter Cody Conway and his company, Buffalove Music Festival LLC, to reclaim almost US$15,000 in allegedly unpaid refunds for the cancelled Buffalove 2017 festival.

Buffalove Music Festival 2017 was to have taken place at the Woods at Bear Creek, a campsite in Franklinville, New York, from 20 to 23 June 2017, but was cancelled two weeks in advance, with Conway citing “multiple reasons beyond our control and in-house issues that would have left too much uncertainty”.

Buffalove Music Festival LLC promised to refund all ticketholders, who had paid between $85 and $125 apiece, within 90 days of the festival’s cancellation on 5 June. However, according to Schneiderman, despite ticket agency Ticketfly making a payment of $13,305 to Conway to refund ticket buyers, he failed to do so, forcing Ticketfly to refund the customers directly and leaving the $13,305 unaccounted for.

In total, 146 New Yorkers purchased tickets from Conway for a combined $14,896.42, including service fees, the complaint alleges.

“My office won’t tolerate scammers who trick hardworking consumers into forking over cash for performances they’ll never see”

During the investigation, the AG’s office served Conway with a witness summons demanding he produce records of the ticket sales. Conway allegedly failed to cooperate with the investigation, leading the AG to file a lawsuit requiring that he disclose everyone who made payments directly to him and refund those payments.

Additionally, the lawsuit seeks to prohibit Conway from promoting concerts or engaging in any business in New York state until he pays full restitution, penalties and costs.

“New Yorkers should get what they pay for – and they’re entitled to timely refunds if event organisers don’t follow through on their promises,” says Schneiderman. “My office won’t tolerate scammers who trick hardworking consumers into forking over cash for performances they’ll never see.”

A report released by Schneiderman’s office in January 2016, Why Can’t New Yorkers Get Tickets? – the culmination of a three-year investigation into New York’s ticketing sector – revealed that bots were being used to purchase tens of thousands of tickets in the state per year, contributing to what Schneiderman called a “fixed game” stacked against ordinary ticket-buyers. He later made the use of ticket bots in New York a criminal offence.


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