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Fury after Jingle Ball is cancelled due to 'schedule difficulties'

By Claire McNeilly

Published 07/11/2015

Paloma Faith
Paloma Faith

Thousands of people with tickets for a Christmas concert were left reeling after being told the popular event would not go ahead.

The Cool FM Christmas Live Jingle Ball, which was due to be held on Sunday, December 13 at the SSE Arena in Belfast, was cancelled by organisers.

Bosses put it down to "scheduling difficulties", but disappointed ticket-holders have called for a "proper explanation" as to why the gig cannot go ahead.

Mum-of-two Suzanne Chesney, from Toomebridge, who spent almost £300 on tickets and accommodation, said her family had been treated "unacceptably".

"I got a call from the SSE Arena on Tuesday to say the concert had been called off for scheduling reasons," Mrs Chesney added.

"I booked four tickets for my daughters and their two friends after the Jingle Ball last year, so this has come as a total shock.

"We've been to the concert every year since 2012, and it has always been a real Christmas treat for us."

Mrs Chesney, a nurse, said her daughters Courtney (18) and 15-year-old Demi were "devastated" by the news, as were their friends, Chloe (16) and 13-year-old Jade.

She added that she too was disappointed that the cancellation had come at such short notice.

"We've been looking forward to this concert all year, and to be told in November that it's not going to take place is totally unacceptable," the busy mum said.

"They started selling tickets for it last December and they must have secured a date back then, so how can they now suddenly have scheduling difficulties?

"At the very least, they owe us a proper explanation because I'm not buying the one they've given us."

In a statement, Cool FM said: "Unfortunately, due to scheduling difficulties this year's Christmas Live (Jingle Ball) will not be going ahead as planned. For refunds, please contact point of purchase.

"Please note any tickets purchased by credit card on the Ticketmaster website, the Ticketmaster 24-hour credit card number or the SSE Arena, Belfast, will receive an automatic refund.

"Tickets purchased by any other method of payment or through a Ticketmaster outlet should return tickets to the point of purchase."

Last year, stars including Paloma Faith, Labrinth, Elyar Fox and Leah McFall all took to the stage for the festive gig.

Mrs Chesney said one of the exciting features of the concert was not knowing the headline acts in advance.

"You don't know who is going to be performing when you buy tickets, and part of the excitement for the girls was the build-up on the radio in the run-up to Christmas when they announced the acts," she said.

"Now there's nothing to look forward to this year - no concert, nothing. It's not fair on anyone. At the very least, I'd like to know the truth."

"All I can say is that if they announce a Jingle Ball next year, I won't be buying tickets."

The gig's cancellation comes after One Direction axed a concert in Belfast last month when Liam Payne fell ill, leaving thousands of fans devastated.

The band re-arranged the gig for the following Friday, only to spark the anger of ice hockey fans by inadvertently cancelling a Belfast Giants home game.

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