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The strange saga of the West Virginia Lady Gaga-Adam Lambert concert . . . that wasn't

Lady Gaga (Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

For suspicious West Virginia fans, there were a couple of tip-offs that there might be something fishy about the Lady Gaga/Adam Lambert concert scheduled for a county park outside Harpers Ferry.

There was the fact that the April 24 show didn't appear anywhere on either of the stars' tour calendars.

There was the fact that the show was organized as a "launch party" for a new line of hair-care products from a Martinsburg, W.Va., salon called Hair By Luke.

There was the fact that -- well, Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert playing a county park outside of Harpers Ferry?

So it was probably no surprise that it all unraveled this weekend. Lambert, the "American Idol" runner-up, put out a denial on Twitter: "Unfortunately totally untrue. Hate that u guys were taken advantage of." Gaga's reps scoffed at the notion to TMZ. And the organizer of the alleged concert, Luke Loy, posted signs on his salon door and outgoing voice mail that ticket sales had been halted -- and then promptly made himself unavailable for comment.

It was a sharp turn from a few days earlier when Loy had been prominently featured in the Martinsburg Journal talking up his too-good-to-be-true plan to bring Gaga and Lambert to the county park in Shenandoah Junction, brandishing contracts that he told a reporter proved it was for real. "I want people to know it's unbelievable, but it can happen. I can bring her here. Anything is possible." He told the paper he hoped to sell 15,000 tickets at $100 a piece; he drew calls from all over the country. (He also took the opportunity to talk up his new coconut-scented, enviro-friendly and color-safe hair products.)

Sooooo ... what happened exactly? By Monday, Loy was unreachable. On one business line, a voice message explained that refunds would be available "as soon as Tuesday" and that "we are following all legal matters at this time." His personal phone line had been disconnected. The editor of the Journal did not return calls or e-mails for comment. The director of the Jefferson County parks department -- who had earlier told a local radio station the concert would be the country's biggest in 20 years -- declined to comment, pending review of the matter.

By The Reliable Source  |  March 23, 2010; 1:04 AM ET
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I'm a fan of Adam Lambert and among the first to begin raising a stink about this. I was extremely suspicious from the beginning, as were many of his fans. I tried to warn people away via the Martinsburg Journal's website and even contacted the author of the first two articles they published.

To my dismay, the e-mail I received in reply seemed to indicate that the author was not concerned and is on first-name terms with Luke Loy. The comments on the four-article series on the Journal's website (which were also in the print edition), in which someone threatened to slap me and the supposed promoter of the event offered me two free tickets (ha!), was taken down, along with the warnings that fans had posted.

There were so many red flags for this event and some of us tried very hard to get the truth out, even as the Jefferson County Parks and Rec department posted on their website that the concert was on, complete with a photo of Lambert and Gaga.

I pointed out that Adam Lambert is supposed to be in the U.K. on the supposed date of the concert, and that Lady Gaga will be on a world tour. That Luke Loy was asking to be contacted about this concert directly, via his cell phone, and then selling 15,000 tickets out of his salon and on his personal (and incomplete) website, rather than through an established ticket broker. Others pointed out that this event was supposed to be private, but tickets were being sold publicly, and for less than the going ticket rate for a Lady Gaga concert alone. Locals pointed out that the park is too small to have accommodated an event this size, when considering both the people and their vehicles.

None of the powers that be listened to any of us, and the Journal left the information on how to purchase tickets on their website from the first article, and in spite of the protests, printed a second article with the same purchasing information!

And so of course people purchased, not tickets, but receipts for tickets to be redeemed later. According to people who have posted on Lambert's official forums about this issue, Loy asked for cash only, and the receipts were marked "No refunds."

Today, March 23, following the blow-up of the fiasco, according to articles from multiple sources, Loy was supposedly going to offer refunds. I was waiting for word about this, and it came this morning.

No answer at the salon. Someone reported that the Martinsburg Journal was contacted and the caller was told that Loy was at his salon at that very moment meeting with a reporter from the Journal, but no one who has reported back so far was able to get him to answer his door.

The police are now involved.

If anyone reading this was taken by this scam, you need to contact either the Martinsburg Police Department or the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

Posted by: verminjerky | March 23, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I have taken screen shots of all the product placement in GaGa’s Telephone video. It is an orgy of product placement

Posted by: nineteen80snore | March 24, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

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