ATLANTIC CITY — Eager to savor a sense of nostalgia from her days as a student at New York City's Baruch College in the late 2000s, Candace Kludt was preparing to fly from Seattle to the resort to meet with friends at the Bamboozle Music Festival at Bader Field.
What was supposed to be three days of flashbacks and live music has turned into an "expensive lesson."
With about a week left before her trip, the festival was canceled, leaving her and dozens of concert hopefuls scrambling to get their tickets refunded.
"My next step is to go to my bank," said Kludt, 37, of Seattle. "It's going to be a hassle going through them."
Since the event was called off, Bamboozle's would-be attendees have not gotten a clear answer as to how they can get a refund for the tickets they purchased. Some, like Kludt, say they spent $700 on tickets, only to have a chance of a refund appear slim.
ATLANTIC CITY — With about a week left until its kickoff, the city has stopped the Bamboozle…
About 58 complaints have been filed with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs over accusations of false advertising and refund requests, said Robert Rowan, a spokesperson for the office.
Fans say they paid a premium for presale tickets at prices expected to jump up as more acts agreed to perform.
When fewer top-billed performers signed on than expected, prices fell, leaving some fans feeling ripped off.
Saying it wasn't going to issue the final permitting needed for the event to proceed, city officials shut down Bamboozle, which was scheduled to welcome hundreds of concertgoers to Bader Field last weekend.
Music festivals have become a staple of the city, which began hosting large-scale beach concerts in 2014. Bader Field has also hosted big-name acts like Phish, Metallica and Cardi B.
For Bamboozle to happen, the city needed insurance certificates, a medical plan, an emergency evacuation plan, and mercantile and facility fees for use of Bader Field by an April 27 deadline.
ATLANTIC CITY — Rick Ross, Limp Bizkit, Steve Aoki and Yung Gravy are some of the acts that …
City spokesperson Andrew Kramer said officials were in "constant communication" with the organizers, reminding them those things were needed for final permitting.
"We still weren’t receiving these required documents, so we issued a reasonable one-week deadline for organizers to submit everything, Kramer said in a statement. "During that time, organizers chose not to submit in writing a request for an extension or propose any alternatives, instead letting the deadline pass."
The festival's founder, John D’Esposito, told The Philadelphia Inquirer he anticipated about 15,000 people in attendance, being entertained by acts including Limp Bizkit, Rick Ross and Steve Aoki.
The cancellation has spurred legal action against D'Esposito, specifically through a lawsuit filed in Monmouth County Superior Court by Anthony Martini, who is suing over a $500,000 loan dispute, according to the litigation.
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So far, the event hasn't cost Kludt her entire allotment for the trip. She's been given flight credits after canceling her plane ride.
Kludt said she used BAM Ticketing, a ticket sales company based in Austria, to buy two three-day passes for the event. Others used the same company, she said.
After securing the tickets, she used Klarna, a payment app with a credit agency model, to help pay for the passes, making incremental payments on the loan for them.
With the event being canceled, she and others, like Chris Sicoli, have been calling BAM Ticketing for refunds. The company has told them to call Bamboozle's organizers, but they've been redirected back to BAM as the "point of purchase."
A similar message was posted on Bamboozle's website, which has gone blank, except for a statement on the cancellation below the festival's logo.
An email to BAM Ticketing for comment was not returned.
ATLANTIC CITY — Thousands of music fans traveled far and wide this weekend to see the popula…
"The festival has been unresponsive," said Sicoli, 31, of Jersey City. "I've done deeper research on other emails for the festival, like actual employee emails. No one is getting back at all."
Sicoli, like Kludt, bought a three-day pass, costing upward of $300. Since the cancellation, he's been consulting social media pages he said were made in anticipation of the event, now morphing into spaces where would-be concertgoers can vent and consult one another about getting refunded.
"It's incredibly frustrating when, you know, one person is saying you have to go back to BAM, BAM saying you have to go back to Bamboozle, and it's impossible to know if I'll get my money back, who I'll get my money back from, what the right course of action is," said Sicoli. "It sucks that, over the course of all this time, it probably won't be worth the time I'm putting in to get the money back, but it's also a matter of principle at this point."
Founded by D’Esposito in 2002, Bamboozle, over a decade, was a centerpiece of the New Jersey music scene, selling out shows in the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford and the Asbury Park Convention Hall.
Highly regarded acts took its stage, including Foo Fighters, Bon Jovi and Fall Out Boy.
The festival went dormant over organizer disputes in 2012, a year in which more than 100,000 fans attended.
While chances of refunds at this point appear bleak, some fans, like Kludt, say they'll continue fighting for their money back. She said her situation might not be as bad as it could be.
"I think I'm in a better position than most people," Kludt said.
The Philadelphia Inquirer contributed to this report.
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Phish fans file through pop-up tents, known as "Shakedown Street" at the band's concerts, during a 2012 show at Bader Field in Atlantic City.
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