Update: The American Music Inaugural Ball Scandal
Ludacris was just as shocked as anyone when the inaugural bash he was slated to headline was canceled, a spokesman told us.
The rapper simply lent his name to the American Music Inaugural Ball and "was not an organizer [nor] party to any of the operational discussions," said Barry Florence. "His heart goes out to everybody" who bought a ticket. "He hopes everyone that did not have a culpable role gets reimbursed for their time and energy and expense."
Organizers led by singer Dionne Warwick failed to sell enough tickets, leading to the event's abrupt collapse barely 24 hours out. Many performers only got word via notes slipped under their doors at the Marriott Wardman Park, the ball's venue, saying they needed to leave their comped rooms or pay up.
Now people who paid at least $450 a ticket are wondering how to get reimbursed, not satisfied with a bare-bones Web site promising refunds "within 30-45 days." The voice mail is full at the ticket-sale number. Promoter Guy Draper didn't reply to e-mails; his voice mail is not taking messages. A North Carolina lawyer trying to get her money back told us she traced her bank charge to a Dallas firm where the phone was disconnected. She's filed a complaint with police.
We were unable to connect with Warwick's rep, Kevin Sasaki, though he returned one of our calls. So we tried Warwick. "You'll have to ask the committee," she said. How do we reach them? She hung up.
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