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No refunds, but stuck Jimmy Buffett fans to get 'concert cash'

| Tuesday, July 10, 2018, 11:45 a.m.
July 7 marks the return of Jimmy Buffett – the consummate poster boy for the laid-back tropical island lifestyle – to KeyBank Pavilion in Washington County.
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July 7 marks the return of Jimmy Buffett – the consummate poster boy for the laid-back tropical island lifestyle – to KeyBank Pavilion in Washington County.

Jimmy Buffett fans who missed most of last weekend's concert at Washington County's KeyBank Pavilion could be in line for a refund of sorts.

Fans who did not pass through the gates of the Burgettstown venue by 8:25 p.m. will receive “concert cash” equal to the value of their Ticketmaster tickets that can be applied to other shows at KeyBank Pavilion or any Live Nation venue in the U.S., according to a statement Tuesday from Live Nation, the concert promoter handling shows at KeyBank Pavilion.

Ticket prices for Saturday's show ranged from $50 for a lawn seat to $150 for reserved seating.

The concert cash only is available to fans who bought tickets directly from Ticketmaster. Fans who bought tickets through third-party retailers or individuals will have to contact their seller to see if they will issue refunds.

Joe Harness, 56, of Little Egg Harbor, N.J. was disappointed to learn his ticket re-seller would not do so.

But on Monday, Harness got ahold of a local official from KeyBank Pavilion and was able to secure $100 worth of concert cash valid for any shows held at the Burgettstown venue. He was told his credit won't be valid at any Live Nation venue, only at KeyBank Pavilion. He's now wary of third-party ticket sites without clear refund policies.

“I learned my lesson,” he told the Tribune-Review by phone from New Jersey.

Long lines stretched from KeyBank Pavilion's entry gates as the show started Saturday evening. Many fans reported waiting outside for hours and not getting inside until the show was nearly over.

The gates opened at 6:30 p.m. — about the time Harness and his wife, Victoria, 60, reached the exit for the venue off Route 22. It took a full hour to get parked, then the couple stood in line for two more hours.

“It wasn't moving,” Harness said. “All that went through my head was that maybe they'd hold off the concert until everybody got in.”

Harness and his wife — longtime Parrotheads who belong to Little Egg Harbor's Jimmy Buffet Fan Club back home — finally made it inside KeyBank Pavilion shortly after 9:30 p.m. They caught about five songs from Buffet's last set.

Fans took to social media to complain and demand refunds, with some pointing out that security lines appeared understaffed and overwhelmed. Harness said he observed some concertgoers being forced to open and pour water bottles into plastic cups, despite being told previously that each person could bring inside one 20-ounce sealed water bottle.

“It definitely was not run right,” Harness said. “I'm kind of easygoing because I'm retired and I don't have anywhere to be, but a lot of people sure were frustrated.”

The trip wasn't a total loss for the Harnesses; Joe Harness said they enjoyed the sights and energy of a busy summer weekend in Downtown Pittsburgh as well as historical excursions such as Ft. Pitt Museum and Braddock's Field.

Harness, who's now seen Buffet perform five times, added with a chuckle, “At least it wasn't like the 80s when I (almost) missed the concert because I was blitzed.”

Live Nation has been silent on what caused the bottleneck outside the venue and what the company is doing to ensure it does not happen again. The company issued an apology Sunday and pledged to work hard to prevent such delays.

KeyBank Pavilion will host Weezer and the Pixies on Tuesday night.

To receive refund credit from Ticketmaster, fans must contact Ticketmaster Fan Support at 1-800-653-8000 and explain their situation, a spokeswoman for Live Nation told the Tribune-Review. Fans also can send order numbers to @TMfanSupport on Twitter.

To reach KeyBank Pavilion, call 724-947-7400.

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