TUCSON (KVOA) - It was supposed to be an "R&B lovers dream vacation", but for hundreds of ticket holders like Stanley Lewis, of Tucson, it turned into a nightmare.
"It was only a day before and I wasn't even home to redo anything, I was already traveling," he explained.
Lewis had spent upwards of $5,000 to attend the Solfest and Sol Comedy Jam in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic put on by Music Getaways. The events were being held back to back following the Warren Hill Jazz Festival in mid-January but were canceled at the last minute.
The jazz festival happened as planned but Music Getaways owner, famous jazz saxophonist Warren Hill, announced on the final night that the upcoming events were canceled due to a dispute with the venue Hard Rock Punta Cana.
HRPC sent out a public statement soon after saying Music Getaways never paid them the guest funds to reserve any rooms and said it was considering legal action. The News 4 Tucson Investigators have not found any record of legal action from HRPC.
Music Getaways has now filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Central California where the company is based, just after facing an on going class-action lawsuit from an upset ticket holder and receiving a judgement in New York ordering the company to pay over $500,000 to a financial company.
When asked how he feels about the company filing for bankruptcy, Lewis said he hadn't heard about that and now feels like he's never getting his money back.
According to documents filed for the bankruptcy, Music Getaways owes more than $2.5 million to various entities including artists like Ludacris, financial companies, the ticket holder who filed the class action lawsuit but none of the other ticket holders who have yet to receive refunds.
Lewis like many other ticket holders who spoke to the N4T Investigators tried disputing the charges with his bank, he was denied. But he then learned Music Getaways sent his bank a contract showing very strict no refund policies, it was a contract he never saw or signed before.
"I tried to do their refund policy, initially, no responses. I applied maybe four months ago with no emails, no responses," he said.
Michelle Octave lives in Louisiana, she also spent more than $5,000 to attend the events. It's where she planned to celebrate her wedding anniversary, she said the cancellation ruined her anniversary.
"We are all due what is owed to us," Octave said.
She feels bankruptcy is being used to avoid paying them back.
"Here we are out of money, every day hard working individuals, made sacrifices out of our normalcy to be able to attend an event that was canceled to no fault of our own but yet now chapter 11 is just a cover up," she said.
The N4T Investigators have reached out to Warren Hill directly and never heard back. Music Getaways has declined to comment on active litigation but in an email stated:
"Due to the wrongful allegations and threat of litigation that have been asserted against our companies, we have been advised by counsel to not provide additional comment or information. We assert that there was no breach, default, or violation of any agreement in our part, and that we are trying to address and resolve the matter reasonably and as soon as possible."
The bankruptcy case is still being sorted out in court. The class action lawsuit is still pending.
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