Somerset

Glastonbury fan 'loses £16k' over VIP tickets

View of Glastonbury Festival Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Nathan Challis was promised "VIP tickets" and a luxury yurt

A man says he has lost £16,000 after buying VIP Glastonbury tickets, from a ticketing firm, that were not there when he arrived.

Nathan Challis, from Southampton, said he bought tickets from Hello Front Row for a "luxury yurt" and "tickets not usually available to the public".

When he arrived on Wednesday the festival site tickets were not there.

Hello Front Row said his tickets did arrive, but after Mr Challis left the site on Thursday.

Glastonbury Festival said only "[ticketing company] See Tickets are authorised to sell tickets for Glastonbury Festival" and resale through other sites was not authorised.

Mr Challis, a 36-year-old director of a traffic management company, said he was offered a deal, including the yurt and two VIP tickets which he was told "are reserved for press, performers and the music industry and VIP guests which gives access to all VIP areas including performers and managers area".

He said he was promised he and his partner Kayleigh Lewisage would be able to "mingle with celebs and media and other VIPs" for a special price of £9,995 if he could pay the full amount up front.

Image caption Mr Challis said he turned down a partial refund of £5,000

He opted to pay a deposit instead so was charged an extra £2,000 plus VAT, making a total £14,411.

In January this year, the company contacted him again offering a yurt closer to the festival site for an extra £2,000 which he accepted, bringing his total bill to more than £16,000.

But when he arrived at the campsite, which was outside the festival site, on Wednesday the tickets were not there.

He said he made numerous calls to Hello Front Row to find out what was happening, but after waiting more than 24 hours took the decision to return home and request a refund.

He said during a phone call with the company his request was refused because he had checked into the yurt, but he was offered £5,000 compensation instead which he refused.

Hello Front Row, in an emailed statement, said that Mr Challis's tickets for the festival site were delayed but were ready for him after he left.

"We are doing a full investigation into what caused the delay. All our other clients are at Glastonbury having a great time."

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The Vaccines opened Glastonbury on Friday on The Other Stage

The BBC has asked how many other clients the firm has at the festival, and how it obtained VIP tickets to resell, but the firm said it was "not at liberty" to discuss this.

Mr Challis has successfully bought tickets for the Brit Awards from Hello Front Row in the past.

The Hello Front Row website offers deals that promise "the most exclusive experiences and on the worldwide stage".

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