JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Organizers of Funk Fest on Monday promised refunds to all legitimate ticket holders who couldn't get into Metro Park event this weekend.

Leo Bennett, President of Variety Entertainment, said Monday, "Variety entertainment truly apologizes for the inconvenience this may have caused our loyal supporters. We will make every attempt to rectify and refund legitimate ticket holders who could not get into the park on Saturday," Bennett said by phone on Monday.

Bennett estimated 500-700 people were turned away from the Saturday event of Funk Fest.

As for why, Bennett said on Saturday, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department told Variety Entertainment to make changes in order for people to exit in an emergency. Bennett said those changes included moving tents off the sidewalk and onto the field.

Bennett said that created less space for people to congregate to see the concerts in the main area called "the bowl." They also had to keep open a roughly 500 foot long, 6 foot wide area through the venue in case of an emergency, according to Bennett.

Bennett said fire officials came down, made an assessment, felt it was a safety issue and could not let anyone else in.

Bennett said this has never happened at Funk Fest before, adding the venue has been in Jacksonville for 8 years. Bennett said there will be changes to next year's event including:

- Move the bowl (main gathering area) to a different area to allow more people to come in.

- Make the preferred seating bleacher seats to make more space.

- Give the VIPs access to the backstage area

How can you get a refund?

- If you bought tickets online you can call EZ-Tixx 877-993-8499

- If you bought tickets from a local outlet in the Jacksonville area, call Variety Entertainment at 704-510-0539.

Bennett said the system may be overloaded, which may be why it appears one of the numbers may not be properly working. FCN tried the number Monday afternoon and it does go through to Variety Entertainment.

You can also email info@funkfestconcerts.All ticket holders requesting a refund must mail the unused tickets and a driver's license copy via email or mail to: 320-I Prosperity Church Road, Suite 272, Charlotte, North Carolina 28269


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. May 10, 2014.- There were several angry calls into the newsroom of First Coast News from people who said they were not allowed into and turned away from the gates at Funk Fest in Metropolitan Park.

When FCN went to the park, we saw many people who said they were turned away, despite paying anywhere from $80 to more than $200 per ticket.

People told FCN they came from as far away as Tampa, Tallahassee and Atlanta for Funk Fest, but they couldn't get in. FCN overheard one man say he came all the way from Jamaica for the concerts.

FCN saw locked gates and hundreds of people shouting and waiting to be let in.

Some said they were VIPs who couldn't get in.

Security guards on scene told FCN several gates were closed because the event was at capacity.

People we talked to were very upset.

"I spent over $600 on tickets and I can't get in. This is unjust." said a woman who spoke to FCN, while holding two tickets in her hand near a locked gate.

"All I want at this time is my money back," said another woman.

Yet another woman who said she could not get into the gates told FCN "They should've had a system to be accountable for how many tickets they sold, versus how many can come in that park."

One of the event organizers, Jason Montgomery with Variety Entertainment, responded to FCN Sunday:

"We are aware of the situation...We will compensate everyone that deserves a refund."

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