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Toronto K-pop fans furious over botched concert

Fans of the popular Korean boyband A.C.E. are demanding refunds after a concert earlier this week left ticket-holders high and dry. 

The five-member K-pop group hit the Phoenix Concert Theatre on Tuesday as part of their global tour—and while fans seem to have really enjoyed the performance, many are still fuming over issues like crushing line-ups, missed photo-ops, and unsigned posters.

Scores have taken to social media to complain about the agency responsible for arranging the concert, Pop! Goes The World! (PGTW) and its CEO Gerald Belanger.

A long thread from one fan on Twitter—which details how ticket-holders paid as much as $340 for promised perks like better seats and meet-and-greets, which they never received—has already gotten 600 likes and hundreds more shares since yesterday. 

According to the user @parkjyng and multiple people who have replied or posted on their own pages, the concert was a mess for several reasons. 

First, due to the cancellation of this year's K-Pop Con (where A.C.E. was initially meant to perform), the date and venue of the band's concert had to be changed, which was confusing enough already. 

Then, there was the issue of tickets. Concert-goers who had already bought tiered tickets to the event were upgraded with better perks like posters, photo-ops, and Hi-Touches (K-pop speak for a quick meet and greet) to make up for the K-Pop Con confusion. 

Apparently PGTW never communicated with fans to clarify the complicated tier situation, and on the day of the concert, all hell broke loose. 

Diamond Tier ticket holders, who paid to see A.C.E. doing their sound check, waited hours in the heat only to find out that sound check was cancelled. 

Numbers on the tickets also did not match up with the seating inside The Phoenix, resulting in a mad scramble for the best seats. At the end of the evening, many posters were never delivered to fans, signed or otherwise. 

When asked for comment, PGTW's CEO Gerald Belanger said via e-mail:

"I sincerely apologize to all the fans who experienced delays entering our events, specifically the lineup rules were changed last minute by Phoenix security staff without my authorization. 

I also deeply apologize to the fans who had not received certain additionally offered perks. I will be reaching out to those who did not receive them, and will be personally contacting each ticket buyer by email to make sure everyone feels properly compensated." 

According to Belanger, those who never got posters will be mailed them. As for the issue of the cancelled sound check, he says that "[A.C.E. is] extremely sorry they couldn't do it for the fans, and are discussing with us how we can make it up to them." 

"We are an organization run by fans, not a corporate monster. We are on your side." 

Belanger released a similar statement today via Twitter, which he then deleted. 

Now fans from Calgary, where A.C.E. will be performing soon, are chiming in with similar accounts, saying that they'll be taking up the issue with the Better Business Bureau. 

Pop! Goes The World! has brought most of the largest K-pop bands to Canada, including GOT7 and Dean, and is the agency behind the annual K-Pop Con which was cancelled in Toronto this year. 

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