Ticketholders sceptical over postponed Harry Potter event
An entertainment company promoting a national Harry Potter tour with the real-life Weasley family never applied to get the actors’ visas to enter Australia, A Current Affair can reveal.
The event, which was due to go ahead in early 2020, has now been postponed several times – with anxious fans unsure if the show will ever eventuate.
Melbourne mother and self-confessed “Potter-head” Cate Howes said she had spent $300 on tickets for her and her son, but was growing sceptical.
Jonelle Barron, who also has tickets, said she was feeling nervous.
Organisers had claimed to some customers that refunds were not possible, until the shows were formally cancelled or rescheduled.
They said the Harry Potter stars were all still destined to catch the Hogwarts Express down under, despite visas never having been sought.
“Why are they trying to sell more tickets when they really don’t know when they’ll be doing this?” Ms Barron said.
The company behind An Evening of Magic and Wizards and Quizzes – Wowza Entertainment – declined to be interviewed but in a statement denied the show was a scam.
“We were not going to apply for visas for the actors to enter Australia lawfully until we were sure they were able to come,” a spokesperson said.
“We have offered refunds at each postponement of this tour and have paid previous refunds worth thousands of dollars.”
A Current Affair can reveal Harry Potter fans are not the only ones left disappointed.
Queensland medium Charmaine Wilson was due to be one of the stars of a celebrity psychic cruise, organised by Wowza.
It never went ahead due to the pandemic.
Ms Wilson told A Current Affair some of her followers still had not been refunded, with some tickets costing a few thousand dollars.
“A lot of these women were elderly and their husbands passed and they were using their husbands’ insurance money to have the cruise of a lifetime with psychics they admired,” Ms Wilson said. Wowza Entertainment said: “As far as we know, we have refunded all cruise attendees.”
After A Current Affair contacted Wowza, cruise ticketholders who were still awaiting refunds finally received their money.
The Harry Potter show will go ahead in January or February of 2022, Wowza Entertainment said.
Statement from Wowza Entertainment:
Contrary to reports, we have offered refunds at each postponement of this tour and have paid previous refunds worth thousands of dollars when this tour was postponed in March and October last year. This has been verified by our ticketing agency partner.
After the initial show – with James and Oliver Phelps (the Weasley twins) – was postponed, we postponed to new dates and gave refunds to all ticket holders who did not want the new dates.
When we had to reschedule for a second time, we made the show bigger and better and brought on Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), Chris Rankin (Percy Weasley) and Cosentino, all of whom have been contracted and paid deposits – again, we paid all refunds for those who requested refunds.
Now that new dates have been rescheduled to January/February 2022, we will honour all refunds for those who request this and do not want to attend the new dates. Anyone requesting a refund will be refunded in the next two weeks.
We were not going to apply for visas for the actors to enter Australia lawfully until we were sure they were able to come. We were waiting to see if the pandemic situation changed for UK travel to Australia – we also have contracts in place and six-figure deposits paid with these actors.
As far as we know, we have refunded all cruise attendees. If there are some saying they still haven’t been refunded, we ask that they send us their details so we can rectify this immediately.