It seems to me

That Macon’s Cherry Blossom Festival should be refunding tickets to its street party.

He said he did not immediately know how many $5 tickets were sold in advance, but guessed it was a couple of thousand. The tickets did not carry language alerting buyers they were non-refundable. Tilley said he understands people are upset but there is a trade-off in purchasing a low-cost ticket. Tickets at the gate would have cost $10.

“It’s the risk you take when you buy an advance ticket for an outdoor event. … Outdoor events are susceptible to the whether,” Tilley said, adding that if advance tickets are sold next year they will be marked as non-refundable.

Yes, it is a risk when you buy an advance ticket, but the risk should be on the event organizer, not the customer. The event organizer should do a better job of money management so that, should the event need to be canceled, it can refund the customer his money.

If the organizer puts the risk on the customer, next year the customer might not come back. It is not the customer’s fault that the event lost money, even with the customer’s money that the customer expected to see some sort of return on.

All the more troubling is that the tickets did not specify they were non-refundable.

I realize the Cherry Blossom Festival is a non-profit and I realize that $5.00 is really not a lot for most of the people who would probably attend the festival. But I think instead of saying “silly customer, you should know better,” the Cherry Blossom Festival should have said, “silly us, we planned badly and we’re sorry.”

Customers who were to be rewarded for thinking ahead are now being punished. And the Cherry Blossom Festival should do a better job of apologizing than, in effect, throwing their responsibility into the lap of the customer.

This is not exactly good PR for Macon.


  1. Rick Day says:

    Being somewhat in this business (event venue), I respectfully disagree, Eric.

    An outdoor event such as this (as opposed to say, Bonaroo, which advertises rain or shine and relishes the bad weather) there should be an expectation that foul weather can hamper an outdoor event. Cancellations happen, especially in the South. ESPECIALLY in the Spring!

    The public should expect this possibility.

    Oh, now surely you don’t wish to coddle people who feel ‘entitled’ to a refund, because the organizers should have known it was going to rain that day.

    Where is Hank Rearden when you need him?

  2. Erick says:

    Yep, it’s just five dollars. It is certainly not a big deal. And Rick, I agree that people should know it’s a possibility. But I think the organizers should be the responsible party, not the attendees.

    It’s certainly not something to get worked up about, but I think the festival could go a long way toward making things right by admitting their fault and not, in effect, calling the attendees “suckers.”

  3. Doug Deal says:


    It’s easy to say that when it is not your money. If you went to McDonalds, and they had a grill fire while you were waiting on your big mac combo meal, would you let them keep your money because it was “only $5”, and that you should have known that a grill fire was always a possibility?

    If they said on the ticket that they were non-refundable, that is one thing. If they still held it while the rain was going on, that is another. But when the organizers single handedly cancel the event and do not give refunds, that is unethical and a bad business practice.

  4. Demonbeck says:

    “Outdoor events are susceptible to the whether…”

    …Whether or not they hold the event due to the weather…

  5. liberator says:

    They don’t call off Football Games due to rain,why would they call off a concert? Rock and Roll rain or shine my friends!

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