Lilith FAIL

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ShowClix.com - http://showclix.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/lilith-fair.jpg

Lilith Fair was organized by Sarah McLachlan in the late 1990s.  The festival toured for 3 years.  In 1997-1999, Lilith Fair boasted all-female lineups, including acts such as McLachlan, Erykah Badu, Liz Phair, Shawn Colvin, Jewel, Meredith Brooks, Bonnie Raitt, the Indigo Girls, Sheryl Crow, Natalie Merchant, and many, many more.

In 1997, Lilith Fair was the highest-grossing touring music festival.  In its previous 3 years, Lilith Fair raised over $10 million for women's charities in North America.

Now, Lilith Fair is back on the road in 2010, with many artists that have already appeared on the tour, and several new rising stars.

Tickets for the 2010 revival of Lilith Fair went on sale in late April/early May for approximately 30 stops in cities all over North America.

Lilith Fair announced acts such as: McLachlan, Erykah Badu, Corinne Bailey Rae, Norah Jones, Sia, Kelly Clarkson, Sheryl Crow, Colbie Caillat, and more.

Friends and I hurried to purchase tickets to the August 11th show in Tampa, Florida. Discouraged by the high price of regular seats, we opted for the more reasonably priced lawn seats instead.

Eager to be in the know and up to date on Lilith Fair news, I became a fan on Facebook and started following Lilith Fair on Twitter. The girls I was going with were planning a big get-together. Some friends from work, a college pal, and I were going to meet up with a group of girls that I went to high school with. We would tailgate before the event and then head in to our lawn seats together and enjoy a day of great music under the sun!

Little did we know that this tour seems to have been troubled from the start.

Just weeks after purchasing our Lilith Fair tickets, LiveNation announced that June would be "Service Fee-Free" month. I was disappointed, to say the least. Our $37 tickets for Lilith Fair had ended up costing us over $50 apiece because of LiveNation's service fees and charges. I'm sure that other people in my situation probably contemplated demanding a refund, etc.

Then there was talk online and in magazines about concert tours suffering due to the hard economic times.

Next, I heard word spreading on Facebook about a city in which the "cheap seats" (I'm guessing lawn seats like the ones we had purchased) were going for as little as $10 each!

First, the "no service fee" tickets, now tickets discounted a whoooooole lot. Things like that NEVER happen to me.

The tour kicked off in Calgary on June 27th. Fans posted pictures, video and comments all over Facebook with glowing praise of Sarah McLachlan and Sheryl Crow.

Even though the tour seemed to be off to a good start in the Canada, Lilith Fair was already disappointing fans elsewhere: Somewhere around this time, Kelly Clarkson reportedly dropped out of the Lilith Fair lineup. She wasn't on the lineup for the Tampa show, but if she was, I would've been really disappointed. Also, some shows were being cancelled, while others were possibly being relocated to different venues. This wreaked havoc on some fans' travel plans, with people driving for hours to visit one destination, only to discover they'd have to navigate to another location to see the show. Other fans were upset that their show was being moved from an outdoor venue to an indoor venue - a much smaller indoor venue. On Facebook there was talk of people demanding refunds for not getting the show that was being advertised. No, people were not happy.

Rumors were spreading online about other possible cancellations. There was a lot of talk about poor ticket sales, which spurred debates online about overpriced ticket costs and vendors like Ticketmaster and LiveNation that drive the price of tickets up even higher.

Word got out that Norah Jones was dropping out of her appearances on the tour, including the August 11th date in Tampa, Florida. Online columnists and Facebookers speculated that she was bailing on the tour before it bombed. So what's she doing instead? Well, on August 11th, she's got her own headlining show at the Straz Performing Arts Center in... Tampa, Florida. The same city and date she was supposed to be performing in for Lilith Fair.

Fans like me were beginning to wonder if Jones' announcement spelled bad news for the southern part of the tour. Sure enough, on July 1st, Lilith Fair posted an announcement on their website, Facebook, and Twitter:

The 2010 Lilith Tour is announcing the cancellation of 10 upcoming shows: Salt Lake City (7/12), Montreal (7/23), Raleigh (8/4), Charlotte (8/6), West Palm Beach (8/10), Tampa (8/11), Birmingham (8/12), Austin (8/14), Houston (8/15) and Dallas (8/16). Refunds are available at point of purchase.

“We are in the midst of one of the most challenging summer concert seasons with many tours being cancelled outright,” says Lilith co-founder Terry McBride. “Everyone involved with the tour would like to apologize to the fans and artists scheduled to play in these markets, and express appreciation for all the support for the festival’s return. Lilith remains the only tour of its kind, and we are confident that fans will be amazed by what each date has to offer.”

I got word of the cancellation on the evening of July 1st, and I was on the phone to LiveNation immediately. My three tickets to the show had cost me almost $150. I was bound and determined to get my money back, INCLUDING the service charges, because I had purchased my tickets before June's no service fee promotion.

When I called, the gentleman I spoke with said that he had just gotten done talking with a gentleman who was also inquiring about a refund for Lilith Fair. Apparently, this guy had bought one REALLY GOOD, really expensive seat, and two cheap lawn seats. When there was act that he wanted to see, he would go sit in the expensive seat. When there was an act his girlfriend wanted to see, she would go sit in the expensive seat. He must've dropped a whole lot more money than I did, because the LiveNation associate said that the guy was VERY angry. I told him they'd better be prepared for a lot of angry calls, because Lilith Fair had just dropped a lot of cities.

The associate looked up my order; he told me that they didn't have any information about the Tampa show being cancelled. Surprised, I blurted, "But it was on the Internet!" He told me that he couldn't do anything about my refund until they received word on the actual cancellation of the show.

How in the world does a tour as big as Lilith Fair cancel as many as a dozen shows all at once, and not negotiate it with their ticket vendors/sellers beforehand?!

The LiveNation associate assured me that I would get my full refund, including the service fees. However, he did tell me that people who paid to have tickets shipped would forfeit shipping costs and other order processing fees.

My refund was posted to my account on July 6th - just 5 days after the tour was cancelled.

LiveNation has posted an FAQ about the status of Lilith Fair on their website:

Unfortunately the Lilith tour has had to cancel many of their tour dates. If you purchased tickets for any of the below events online, we’ll automatically refund the entire order, including fees (except UPS and InStore Pick Up, if applicable), to your credit card within 7 – 10 business days, you don't need to do a thing.

July 12 - West Valley- USANA Amphitheatre
July 23 - Montreal- Centre Bell Centre
August 4 - Raleigh- Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion
August 6 - Charlotte- Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
August 10- West Palm Beach- Cruzan Amphitheatre
August 11 - Tampa- 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre
August 12 - Birmingham- Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
August 15 - Woodlands - Woodlands Pavilion
August 16- Dallas- Superpages.com Center

We apologize for any inconvenience!

Inconvenience? This isn't just an inconvenience. People are pissed. The Lilith fan page on Facebook quickly erupted into a smattering of boos and jeers from disappointed fans. I surely didn't want to read about what a great show other people were getting to see, while mine was cancelled just two months after I'd bought tickets.

There is now a Refund Lilith Fair tickets Facebook page, which was created for people to vent their frustrations about the Lilith Tour fiasco, which I personally now like to call Lilith Fail.

I am extremely disappointed that I won't be getting to see this tour this summer.  I was really looking forward to it. 

I hope that the Kings of Leon show I'm going to see in September does better!

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janiek13 profile image

janiek13 6 years ago from Florida's Space Coast

I have never been, but have always wanted to go. How disappointing that must have been for you.

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