For weeks before the evening of Friday, July 12, local media, including the Caymanian Compass, promoted vigorously Cayman’s first so-called “Rock & Reggae Music Festival” at Camana Bay. In fact, The Compass was one of several advertising sponsors of the event, and a “sister company” of ours, called Cayman Box Office, sold tickets (along with other sales outlets) to the affair.
Then the rains came, accompanied by high winds, thunder, and threatening lightning. In short, as described in this newspaper, the evening was a “washout”. Concert goers, who had paid between $40 and $100 for their tickets, were left wet, confused, and in many instances, understandably angry.
The popular feature band, Air Supply, never took to the stage, the so-called VIP seating proved to be inadequate, and it fell to one of our reporters to announce that the event was over. It was time to go home.
The bad news, however, was not over for the audience. The concert promoters soon announced there would be no ticket refunds and, indeed, if purchasers had read the so-called “fine print” on the back of their tickets, it states clearly that the tickets were not transferable, returnable or refundable.
We at Pinnacle Media, which recently purchased Cayman Free Press (publishers of the Caymanian Compass), know something about all print – including “fine print” – and we know that nobody reads it. It’s there to protect the seller, not the buyer. Therefore, we will be reimbursing ticketholders who bought their tickets through Cayman Box Office the full price of those tickets.
It is not comforting to us that the arrangements to sponsor this concert and the decision to sell tickets to it through Cayman Box Office were put in place before we bought Cayman Free Press. When we acquired the company, we believe, we also acquired the responsibilities.
Even if we have no “legal responsibility” to refund the purchase price to those who bought their tickets through Cayman Box Office (and we don’t), we believe we have a higher responsibility to the community in this regard.
The business we’re in – the communications business and, even more importantly, the newspaper business – is built upon a bond of trust between us as publishers and you as readers. You trust us to report the news accurately and fairly, and you also trust us, presumably, to act responsibly (forget the legalities) as a good corporate citizen of these islands.
We intend to do exactly that.
We have already paid in full our Cayman Box Office obligations to the promoters, so, in effect, this refund will be on “our tab”. Therefore, we will contact all of our customers who purchased their tickets from Cayman Box Office and make arrangements to refund promptly their complete purchase price.
One final word: We are closing down our Cayman Box Office business. Going forward, our resources will be focused on improving our core businesses – this newspaper, magazines, and commercial printing.