Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Fury over Portsmouth America's Cup concert refunds

America's Cup
Image caption Bad weather on Friday made life miserable for America's Cup World Series spectators and led to the cancellation of a Royal Marines South Coast Proms

Ticket holders for an America's Cup World Series concert in Portsmouth have criticised an offer of free entry to people due to attend a cancelled event.

Friday's South Coast Proms concert was cancelled due to bad weather, with ticket holders offered a refund plus free entry to Saturday's pop concert.

It drew criticism from those who had already paid to attend Saturday's show.

Organisers said the free tickets were a "gesture of goodwill" but made no comment about the complaints.

The two concerts are to mark the opening stage of the sailing series as Sir Ben Ainslie begins Britain's bid to win the 35th America's Cup.

Organisers issued a statement on Friday explaining the South Coast Proms concert, featuring the Band of HM Royal Marines, was cancelled for "public safety reasons".

It added it would refund all Friday evening tickets, which cost £25, as well as offer them free tickets for the Portsmouth Live! concert featuring Spandau Ballet, Wet Wet Wet and McBusted.

Those with Saturday tickets - which cost up to £48.50 - took to the event's own Facebook page to complain.

On Friday Martine Halliday posted: "I have paid £131 for three tickets and people who bought tickets for tonight get a full refund and free entry into tomorrow's event. Come on, seriously, sort this out!!!"

Jan Spencer, who said she paid £200 for Saturday tickets, posted: "To give people free tickets to a completely different concert as well as a refund is disgraceful. I'm so very annoyed".

Andy Cottrell posted that the handling of the issue was a "shambles".

Others complained about the prospect of more people attending the Saturday concert, potentially making it crowded and cramped.

A concerts spokeswoman said: "We offered the Saturday night tickets as a gesture of goodwill to many of those who had travelled to Portsmouth and, due to inclement weather conditions, had missed out on their concert opportunity."

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