Why I Don’t Love Massachusetts is For Lovers
Something confounding and downright irritating happened in the last week with the Massachusetts is For Lovers Festival. The festival was scheduled to be held in Mansfield at the Xfinity Center on Sept 17th. Bands such as Alkaline Trio, Rise Against, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Hawthorne Heights, Emery, Bayside, and Silverstein were scheduled to perform in what was sure to be a killer show. I had my tickets and had every intention of attending, even with Hurricane Lee scheduled to potentially hit New England the day before the festival. Nothing was going to stop me –until it did.
I just happened to be on TicketMaster on the Friday before the concert checking on tickets for another show when I saw that the event had been cancelled with refunds promised to be returned within 30 days. There was no reason given on Ticketmaster for the cancellation. I initially assumed it must be related to the hurricane. Then I started getting ads for the very same festival on Facebook, only they said it was being held at the Palladium in Worcester and the line-up was different. Gone was Alkaline Trio, Rise Against, and Bayside. Anyone who wanted to attend the festival had to purchase new tickets for the Worcester location. People in the comments immediately started pointing out that not only were the most popular bands no longer on the ticket, but for some reason ticket prices had increased. Eventually, I got an email from Ticketmaster directly stating that the festival had been canceled and moved to the new venue with a note from Hawthorne Heights saying “Sometimes things don’t go as planned and you must make difficult decisions based on circumstances outside of your control. Cancelling was never an option to us. We know that thousands of you have airplane tickets, hotels, and plans that you’ve made for the festival.”
On Saturday I got a push notification from the Ticketmaster app urging me to upgrade my original ticket to the festival. When I clicked through to see what would happen, I was eventually informed that the event was canceled. That’s one way to get the word out, I suppose. I think it’s very likely that not everyone who had bought tickets was informed of the change of venue. I can only imagine some people showed up in Mansfield on Sunday and were sorely disappointed. The change in line-up was enough to keep me from purchasing new tickets. Why would I pay more for tickets only to not be able to see the bands I really wanted to see? Katie Murphy said on Facebook, “I’m so disappointed. I bought tickets specifically for the bands that are no longer there.”
Buying the replacement tickets apparently came with its own set of issues. The comment sections on the band’s Facebook page are littered with people proclaiming they were getting prompts for passwords to buy tickets. A password that no one had. Who knows how many people were stymied from getting their replacement tickets by this technical glitch? There was also a 4-ticket minimum to get tickets for the seats in the mezzanine. Not everyone can stand in general admission for an entire festival, so this move may have had a chilling effect on ticket sales. There was mass confusion online with people seeing that the show was canceled but not seeing that it had been rescheduled. Meghan McCabe asked “Where are you guys getting the info that it was moved to the Palladium? Nothing shows up on the Palladium’s website and Live Nation just says it was canceled.” People complained that because it was potentially going to take 30 days for their refunds to process, they wouldn’t be able to afford the more expensive tickets for The Palladium. The entire situation was a bit of a dumpster fire with unhappy would-be concertgoers turning to Facebook comment sections, Instagram, and X (Twitter) to complain about how disappointed they were. Rise Against came out with a statement saying the show had been canceled due to low ticket sales and “some of the other bands will play an abridged version of the fest at an alternate venue nearby.” The comments on this post are full of salty tears with Sean Dion shouting virtually “ PLAY THE ALTERNATE VENUE! Cancelling seems to be your favorite flavor this last year or so.” It seemed like at the end of the day no one was very happy with how the situation turned out. I know I sure wasn’t.