3 On Your Side

R. Kelly concert debacle has fans demanding refunds


R. Kelly was supposed to perform back in April, but at the last minute, he refused to take the stage. Now concert-goers want their money back, but they're having a hard time doing that.

"I got a bunch of bulls---t for my (expletive) money," one concert-goer said

Angry doesn't even begin to explain how concert-goers felt recently at a scheduled event in Tolleson.

"F--k you R. Kelly, you and your mamma!”

Raw emotion flew out of mouths, and chairs flew across an empty stage. And it all happened in April when R&B recording artist R. Kelly refused to perform at Soulfest. An announcement was made by someone on stage: “R. Kelly will not be performing.”

R Kelly may not have taken the stage, but he did take to social media later and apologized for not performing. His excuse? He says he wasn't paid.

"I gotta let you all know that, unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to perform even though I'm right here in my trailer and I'm ready to go on stage. But I just got bad news. My management and them told me they did not give me my money. I haven't gotten no money for doing this show. ... So, it's nothing personal against my fans. This is business y'all, and I hope y'all understand."

Ticket prices ranged anywhere from $60 to $300. Javier Hernandez tells 3 On Your Side that he bought $700 in concert tickets, but when R. Kelly chose not to perform, that's when things turned ugly at the venue and Hernandez rushed his family to safety.

"I got my family out of there quick, as soon as we heard that he wasn't going to come on," Hernandez said.

Now, two months later, Hernandez and countless others are still out money for an R. Kelly performance that never took place. Even though the concert tickets say “no refunds, exchanges or cancellations,” people like Hernandez are writing 3 On Your Side looking for help.

Promoters for the concert say they were "gravely disappointed with the unintended outcome at SoulfestAZ,” and concert-goers were instructed to contact them for a refund.

Hernandez went on to say, "I left my information that I had purchased tickets, and then they would contact me for the refund. They never contacted me."

And that's what many consumers tell 3 On Your Side. So, we contacted Aubrey Morris, the Soulfest concert promoter. He tells 3 On Your Side the entire ordeal is a shame and that R. Kelly was paid.

Morris even sent 3 On Your Side documentation indicating that weeks before the concert, he paid R. Kelly $20,000 in advance and then another $50,000 for a total of $70,000. A final amount that Morris refused to disclose was supposed to be paid after R. Kelly performed but, as we know now that performance didn't happen.

As far as those refunds, Morris claims he has refunded tens of thousands of dollars to concert-goers but says the process has been slow. However, he did say all refunds would be made to persons who submitted requests before the May 9th. deadline. As for Javier Hernandez, he said, "We were very excited, looking forward to a good concert, and from that point to this experience, as far as getting our money back, it's all been downhill."

3 On Your Side tried reaching out to R. Kelly and his people, but no one ever contacted us back. Morris also tells 3 On Your Side the other artists who performed the night of the R. Kelly concert were paid. And as far as refunds go, beginning Monday, June 15, Morris says disbursement information can be found at www.soulfestaz.com.

And for those looking for information about filing a complaint online, they can visit the Arizona Attorney General's website at www.azag.gov/complaints/consumer.

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