Controversy has hit Lichfield’s Garrick theatre as it emerged that its ‘enhanced ticketing protocol’ was inadvertently invoked for the recent sell-out concert by Sir Tom Jones.
Thousands of people attended the LichVegas event in Beacon Park which was marred by ticketing problems that saw multiple duplicate tickets issued by the Garrick which was running the box office for events organiser TinyCOW.
Lichfield based Lee O’Hanlon of TinyCOW commented:
‘Confusion and delays on the door were caused when it became apparent that duplicate tickets had been issued. Fans were disappointed to have their “keepsake” tickets confiscated as we had to retain them as evidence against the Garrick.
‘We’ve been pressing the Garrick for an explanation but so far none has been forthcoming.’
However 5SL has been contacted by a disgruntled Garrick employee with an axe to grind who wishes to remain anonymous. Box office manager Paul Mycock disclosed:
‘This was a cock-up by the Garrick. It was clear from the outset that Tom’s concert would be a sell-out but someone here inadvertently initiated the ‘enhanced ticketing protocol’ in the box office software.’
Mr Mycock explained:
‘It is well known that The Garrick has traditionally been the venue of choice for third-rate acts and productions.
‘The nadir was ‘An Evening with Michael Fabricant’ when it became apparent that only a handful of Jonathan Hall’s immediate family would actually buy a ticket. The protocol was created – all tickets bought would generate ten duplicate free tickets. These were left on tables in The Malt and stuck in copies of The Big Issue by local salesman Gobby Scouse. This produced a respectable turnout, albeit an audience comprised of drunks and vagabonds.
‘This ticketing protocol was mistakenly invoked for Sir Tom and chaos ensued.’
Garrick head of marketing Alex Lloyd refused to comment on this specific case as it was in the hands of their solicitors, but he did say:
‘Multiple ticketing can work well for some unpopular events. Almost twenty members of the audience are now paying for their seats at the monthly Comedy 42 events.’
Sir Tom Jones has been made aware of the controversy but after surviving decades of industry scams he commented :
‘It’s not unusual.’