Sunday, October 23, 2011

Avril Lavigne ticket mishap upsets Canadian military families

There’s some confusion over what happened with a free ticket offer for Canadian military families to see Avril Lavigne in concert on Saturday.

The London Free Press reports Canadian military families throughout Southern Ontario were told about 10 days ago that a block of tickets to the October 22 show at the John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario would be available to them; they were asked to let organizers know how many tickets interested families would need.

But Friday, the day before the concert, the families received an e-mail saying the offer was cancelled.

“This opportunity has been cancelled and there will not be any tickets available for the concert,” said the message from Capt. Brad Whipple of the Military Family Resource Centre in London. “The Avril Lavigne Foundation was unable to get the tickets to us for the concert at the JLC this Saturday.”

But that’s not the case, said John Labatt Centre manager Brian Ohl.

“There are 300 tickets sitting there for Capt. Whipple,” said Ohl. “If the offer was withdrawn, no one told us. We have them and they are sitting here.”

That left military families fuming and confused, and wondering if the military screwed up.

“We are a military family, living on a military salary and we do not get the chance to do this very often. It is really disappointing,” said Sarah Harley, a veteran’s wife and mother of five in Petawawa, Ontario, hours away from London by car. “I am very upset. My daughters were screaming, ‘What do you mean?’ The kids love her, and to now find out the tickets are there, it does not look good on the military, especially since they blame the foundation.”

Harley was originally told there were six tickets put aside for her before the cancellation e-mail from Whipple.

Whipple and officials with the Military Family Resource Centre couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Saturday.

“I am not sure where the disconnect is?,” said Ohl. “I have been told to pull tickets and process them for the military who will pick them up.”

Harley’s children are 14, 12, 10, and two, with another only seven weeks old; her husband, Curtis, a corporal, served seven months in Afghanistan.

Currently on a Canadian tour in support of her latest release, “Goodbye Lullaby,” Lavigne plays Toronto on Monday, and wraps up the swing with a Tuesday concert in Montreal.

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