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Fraud squad investigates Prosecco & Balls UK tour as revellers demand refunds

People who bought tickets to a highly-publicised UK tour of a Prosecco ball pit have been left out-of-pocket after a series of unexplained, last-minute cancellations.

(Photo: ferrantraite/iStock)

On November 6, the drinks business reported that an adult-only ball pit doubling as a Prosecco bar would tour the UK in the run-up to Christmas.

The event captured the imagination of the British public, receiving news coverage in the local press, glossy magazines and national publications including, Good Housekeeping and Cosmopolitan.

But so far, none of the Prosecco & Balls events have gone ahead as planned. After a failed attempt to postpone the club nights until the new year, the promoters have cancelled all tour dates, leaving hundreds demanding refunds.

The first event was set to take place at Plastik nightclub in Belfast on 17 November, but it was axed by the organisers with 48 hours notice, according to the venue.

A spokesperson for Plastik told db that the event’s promoters cancelled because the night had not gained enough popularity, despite selling 250 tickets.

Plastik took to Facebook to explain that the night “had been postponed by the promoter and will no longer be held at our venue.”

“Any queries regarding refunds please contact Prosecco & Balls UK tour directly.”

The following day, dozens of revellers arrived at the Buttermarket in Shrewsbury for the second night of the tour, only to find the venue completely shut with no explanation.

Andy, who was one of those expecting to attend the Shrewsbury night, spent upwards of £100 on tickets. He told the drinks business that he still hasn’t heard anything from the organisers since his disastrous evening.

Plastik told ticket-holders that promoters Prime Live cancelled the event “for reasons beyond our control.”

“After driving for an hour to get the venue,” he said, “we were met by a number of people outside who had also arrived to find a closed venue.”

“We stood outside in the rain for half an hour trying to find answers as to why the event was going ahead, but were unable to find any contact info for the promoters.”

Andy said that the tickets were bought through Fatsoma. db has contacted the ticket seller for comment.

Revellers arrived to an empty venue in Shrewsbury without prior notice.

db understands that the tickets were also being sold through Skiddle. However, Prosecco & Balls events listed on the retailer’s website now appear to be cancelled. db has attempted to contact Skiddle for comment. 

A spokesperson at the Buttermarket told db that the event has been rescheduled for next year, and that all refunds will be handled by the promoter.

Since then, db understands that Prosecco & Balls has cancelled all of its upcoming tour dates.

db understands that many who bought tickets, which retailed for around £14.90, are still waiting to get their money back.

It appears that negative comments from customers demanding refunds have been removed from Prosecco & Balls’ Facebook page.

“I was told 6-8 days for a refund,” wrote one customer. “Now on the 10th working day after it was postponed and not received anything yet.”

Tish P told db that she bought two tickets for the event through Fatsoma, but is still waiting to hear back.

“All of their events get cancelled at short notice with no email or contact with customers. They ask you to private message them and apologise and inform you a refund will be done within 8-10 days.

“These refunds don’t happen and when you message them again they don’t reply, but are clearly active and posting on their pages.”

The Prosecco ball pit club nights were set up by a Liverpool-based events company called Prime Live Group, which launched in August this year according to Companies House.

It is understood that Prime Live Group has also removed a number of negative comments and complaints on its Prosecco & Balls page left by those who bought tickets to the postponed events.

Screenshots seen by db show a series of complaints posted on the Prosecco & Balls events pages.

“Do not book this event,” wrote Jackie Gault in a post which appears to have since been deleted by the admins. “They cancelled Belfast two days before and I have still not got my refund for five tickets.”

Several customers have told db that they have contacted the National Fraud and Crime Reporting Centre, with many launching complaints in November. db has contacted Action Fraud for more information.

Prime Live also came under fire last month after a series of Day of the Dead-themed events were also cancelled without warning.

Day of the Dead event at Preston’s Guild Hall and some 30 other locations across the country were mysteriously cancelled by the organisers “due to circumstances beyond our control,” the Lancashire Post reported.

One customer, Rae Stephenson, bought 10 tickets for the mardi gras style carnival, but has since contacted police after struggling to get her money back.

A spokesperson for Prime Live said they were “extremely sorry” with the way events played out.

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