Yesterday we received a polite but slightly aggrieved message from a Festival-goer who had already purchased tickets for all three sessions. The message went something like this:
Just wanted to say that while I am still really looking forward to The Festival next weekend, the recent barrage of discounts on tickets leaves me with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. I bought two 3-session passes as soon as I could after tickets went on sale. I primarily chose those due to the cost savings vs. buying just the two evening sessions. I now read that for those who bought just one session you’re offering a $30 discount on an additional session. Plus a straight $20 discount available on the evening sessions through a different link. What compounds my frustration is that a friend backed out on me, leaving me with an extra ticket that I now will have a near impossible time trying to pawn off on someone else. It’s only money, and I truly don’t really care about the extra ticket cost, but it would be nice if you offered some benefit to those who dropped the cash to buy the 3-session pass and want to support you guys and your festival.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but even a small gesture like throwing in a t-shirt or a glass from one of the breweries you import would be something to show your appreciation for those who bought the full price tickets.
Like I said, I’m still super excited about the fest and will enjoy the heck out of myself trekking up there from Central Pennsylvania, but I don’t think you’re doing yourselves any favors from a p.r. standpoint with those loyal customers that ran out and bought tickets as soon as they could. It’s just going to lead to an even harder time for you to sell tickets for next year’s fest if there is one.
Just the opinion of one beer geek, take it for what it’s worth. I feel better voicing my opinion to you directly instead of whining on some internet beer forum or Facebook. Looking forward to next week! Thanks for listening
We very much appreciated this person’s interest in the Festival, and appreciate even more his bringing to our attention a mistake that we made when we offered special incentive for people attending Saturday afternoon’s session to come back for the Saturday evening session. We admit that this correspondent’s complaint was quite fair, and want need to give everyone else who has supported us by buying into three sessions of the Festival an apology, an explanation, and an offer to make any aggrieved person “whole” (as lawyers like to put it).
The deal is that we’ve got more people coming to Saturday afternoon’s session than we have on Saturday night. We’re looking to balance that out a little bit, partly because we don’t want any of our brewers feeling unloved and lonely on a Saturday night in Portland. Mostly, we’re pretty sure that a lot of people — once they see what’s going on Saturday afternoon — will want to come back and finish the job they started on Saturday night. We want to make it easy for them to do that. Hence our exciting offer of only $30 for Saturday afternoon ticket-holders to come back for more on Saturday night. This makes damned good sense. We should have thought of it much earlier.
We figured that everyone who had bought a ticket for Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening, at a total cost of $110, should be refunded $15. I was informed that there were only 25 such people, and we immediately contacted those people to tell them that they would get refunds, and in fact we’ve already made those refunds. Trouble is that someone forgot to consider that there were a number of other people who, like this gentleman who wrote to us, had bought tickets for all three sessions. We only realized we had made this mistake thanks to our faithful correspondent. It really was an unfortunate oversight, and of course we’ll make good on it for anyone who has a three-session pass.
The bad news, sort of, is that the difference isn’t really that great. If you already have the weekend pass, you paid $150. Someone else who had tickets for the Friday night and Saturday afternoon sessions, and then added Saturday night pursuant to this special last-minute offer would be paying $140. Clearly, we need to give back to those weekend pass-holders ten dollars, as we did for the good citizen who wrote to us to gripe.
It will be a lot of trouble to identify the other hundred or so people who had three-session passes, and the refund is only ten bucks, so we’re not going to try to fix this problem for everybody overnight. There’s just way too much else for us to do right now. (Without going into details, I can tell you that having a beer festival in Maine is a really complicated legal proposition.) But we believe we can get that done before we close the doors on the Festival on Saturday night if you will all help us out. Please, if you are a precious and very much appreciated three-session ticket holder who wants ten dollars back, contact us and identify yourself right away!
We are all very sorry about this mix-up. If you see me lurching around the Festival, come right up and I will personally apologize.
Have a great time at the Festival, everyone.