KUSA - Dozens of emails, phone calls and Facebook messages inundated 9NEWS starting on Sunday night when angry people expecting to see a Garth Brooks concert got...not that.
Glancing at this Facebook event, the average person would think the Tulsa, Oklahoma native was going to bless Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre with a little "Friends in Low Places" action. Going even further, clicking on the link attached to this event would make you think Brooks would be coming to Colorado with Trisha Yearwood as part of a current world tour.
On Sunday, Garth Brooks was in Colorado, but he wasn't headlining. He was in town as part of a concert that served as an induction into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame for Joe Walsh & Barnstorm, Caribou Ranch and the late Dan Fogelberg.
The concert, dubbed The Rocky Mountain Way, was slated to feature performances from Amy Grant & Vince Gill, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Richie Furay, Randy Owen of Alabama, Todd Park Mohr, Michael Martin Murphey and yes, Garth Brooks. Even Denver's own The Lumineers performed.
But while Brooks was billed on the ticket, he was one of many acts, including other "surprise guests" promised by the official ticket promoter.
Nowhere on its site was Sunday's show referred to as a Brooks concert -- in fact the country great wasn't even pictured on the story announcing the show, which was posted in early June.
But here's where things get shady.
Another Facebook event, separate from AXS, popped up on social media -- one that blatantly advertised Brooks and only Brooks as the artist for the August 13 concert.
That event -- created by the Facebook page "Country Music Events" -- was widely shared and taken as an official page for the show. Before people were in an uproar on Sunday evening, the fan discussion on the page focused on buying and selling tickets.
It wasn't until the show started that people began to realize this wasn't a Garth-only event.
It didn't take much longer for people to demand refunds. That same Facebook page turned into a deluge of people complaining about how they felt scammed, tricked and lied to. Those accused of the duping -- Fiddler's Green and AXS -- were targeted (falsely) by angry concertgoers, and the organizations did their best to respond to the masses, telling one woman the venue and AXS had nothing to do with that Facebook event, which they didn't.
9NEWS reached out to AXS and Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre for comment with the specific intent to provide tips for concertgoers who buy tickets online to avoid getting scammed.
Chuck Morris, CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) said the fact these people were led by scalpers to buy tickets to a show they didn't want to attend was "sickening."
He said his group (AEG owns AXS) never advertised the show as a Garth Brooks concert. He emailed 9NEWS over a copy of the show's original press release, which didn't mention the country crooner's name until the second paragraph.
Morris said it's a shame scalpers misled these people because he "feels good" about Sunday's concert (17,000 people attended), even going so far as to say it was one of the best shows he's put on in his 47 years in this business.
He warns those buying tickets from scalpers to be very careful and call over to the venue if they have any questions about a show before purchasing tickets. Situations like Sunday's, Morris said, is saddening.
Tickets for the show sold by AXS ranged from $25 to $125 in price. Some people on the phony Facebook page said they paid up to $600 after driving from out of state.
As for the website in question, Paper Stubs, the site promises a 100 percent money back guarantee, but only goes so far as to guarantee if "tickets are not valid, delivered on time, or not as advertised (section and row #’s)." Right now, it's unclear if "as advertised" covers this situation as well.
Nevertheless, 9NEWS has a request in with the online database. You can contact them yourself here
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