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Music fans signed up for falsely-billed charity concert
DOZENS of people ordered tickets for a concert falsely billed as featuring X Factor runner-up Rebecca Ferguson, The Northern Echo has learnt.
Organiser Danny Rowntree claimed a music festival was taking place at Darlington Rugby Club next month.
Miss Ferguson’s management company confirmed there has was no approach for her to perform at such an event and the rugby club said there was no booking for the date advertised by Mr Rowntree.
The event was listed on ticket sales website Skiddle, which confirmed that about 50 people had booked to attend an event that never existed.
Skiddle director Richard Dyer said they would receive a full refund. There is no suggestion of any wrong-doing on the part of the website.
The user-generated listing included a picture of Ms Ferguson and promised a ‘special guest’ appearance from the singer, who shot to fame during the 2010 series of X Factor.
A notice was later placed at the top of the listing saying the event had been cancelled ‘due to adverse weather conditions’, even though it was not due to take place for almost three weeks.
Although discussions about the possibility of holding a music event took place between Mr Rowntree and the rugby club, no contract was ever signed.
Mr Rowntree had claimed the event would raise funds for two charities – Stockton-based Butterwick Hospice and Crawford House, in Newcastle, which looks after seriously-ill youngsters.
An article in The Northern Echo on Monday (October 14), published in good faith, gave the non-event publicity.
A spokesman for Miss Ferguson’s management company, Logan Media Entertainment, said: “We have never been approached regarding this event and we have never agreed to have Rebecca perform at the event.”
It has sent a ‘cease and desist’ notice to Mr Rowntree, threatening him with legal action if he makes further claims regarding Miss Ferguson.
The notice sent to Mr Rowntree said: “We have not received any request for Rebecca to appear at this event, nor have we approved her appearance.
“Any attempt to suggest otherwise is not only a gross misrepresentation, but also a downright lie.”
Rugby club secretary Tony Stowe said officials discussed plans for a music event with Mr Rowntree on two occasions.
He said: “On both occasions, we expressed serious doubts about it to him, about the organisation of it.
“We had spoken to him as recently as last week and said it is not going to happen, he did not have time to market it or organise the logistics and we were very reluctant on health and safety grounds.
“There was never any contract between us, there was a tentative agreement that we would look at it.”
Mr Rowntree claimed to have booked the singer after speaking to her brother.
He said: “Her brother put [Ms Ferguson] on the phone to me, however when I have looked into things, I do not think it was her I spoke to and I'm unsure of whether it was her brother.”