Lightfoot steps in for Young in Dundas

A major announcement Thursday night for fans upset over the cancellation of Neil Young and his Crazy Horse band at the upcoming Greenbelt Harvest Picnic in Dundas.

Gordon Lightfoot is going to be appearing instead. But is that going to be enough for Neil Young fans demanding a full refund?

Al Sweeney is following this story tonight and joins us live. Al, what’s the response so far?



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John says:

I think almost everyone in Canada loves Gordon Lightfoot, but this is still not who I paid to see performing. I purchased tickets for Neil Young, through Neil Young`s website in a presale.
This festival all along has been billed as Neil Young and Crazy Horse. It has been used as the feature in all Newspaper and Radio advertising.
If I am not going to see Neil Young and Crazy Horse perform, I am rightly entitled to a FULL refund, and I can not understand how the promoters and sponsors of this event could see it any other way.

Heather Fleming says:

Hello, My total charges for this festival was $167.50 for one ticket. I decided to spend the money to see Neil one last time. I love Gordon Lightfoot but could have seen him for much less in a smaller more intimate setting in Kitchener a few years ago. I just have a really bad feeling about this. Over a thousand angry fans will begrudgingly attend who have lost more money than I have, having bought more tickets, that either cannot now afford to do something else over the long weekend or feel obliged to go due to their expense. Add alcohol to that equation…sounds like a recipe for disaster. It only takes 1% to incite bad behaviour. No I think I will stay as far away as possible and go to the beach! I’m sure there will be added police presence. I hope it goes well and I already feel for Gordon Lightfoot. Will never attend this festival again and will be sure to check that Denis & Co. is not involved with any of my future purchases. Thanks for covering the story and giving us all a voice, Heather Fleming

Chuck Naughton says:

Fans who purchased based solely on Neil Young & Crazy Horse should be offered the choice of a refund. I attended last year’s GHP and plan to attend this year , with or without NY & CH. I bought 4 tickets for my family in a pre-sale from through Neil Young’s web site.

The GHP is among the best concert venues one can experience and the line-up is wonderful, but the ticket price increase was almost all about Neil Young. I am also a HUGE Neil Young fan (I’ve attended 85 shows since 1974). I know of several other similarly crazed Neil Young fans who have purchased airplane tickets and reserved hotel rooms to come to this show. In fact, a pre-picnic party planned at my house in Niagara Falls, NY the day before included 2 from Seattle, another from eastern New York and two more from the Wash., D.C. area. I know others from various and far flung regions of the US and Canada were also planning on traveling here to see Neil Young & Crazy Horse.

So for folks who truly would not otherwise attend without Neil Young, the only right thing to do is to refund their money.

Roy Villella says:

Nothing compares to neil young .That’s why I bought my 2 Adult tickets. At the price of $303.40.I purchased Tickets for the Headliner Neil Young.And am demanding full refund now.I will not accept the 42.25 per ticket they offered .For fear of losing out on a full refund.We feel like there robbing us .I went to Ticketmaster the day it was announce that neil was bailing out and they said its to early yet.Then a few days later I called and told them I feel robbed.They should be charged for Fraud and Robbery.

Marc says:

Since Gordon Lightfoot’s last original album (in 2004), Neil Young has released seven albums of new material. This is a matter of artistic vibrancy versus fossilization. I have no quarrel with Lightfoot, I have seen him many times over the years, but this is no excuse not to offer a full refund for those who do not wish to attend anymore. It’s a shame NY&CH had to cancel their tour but I know plenty of people who feel they are now being taken advantage of. Does not bode well for the years to come. I’ll definitely think twice about this event and I am no longer able to really look forward to this year’s festival. As a matter of principle, maybe if I had been offered a full refund OR a $40 discount, I might have felt good about taking the discount and would be more enthusiastic about the show. But I never got the choice. bad move.

Ron Garrett says:

Lets face it there is only one Neil Young. But people venting all their anger against the festival only show their ignorance with how any sporting or live event works. This is especially true with the music and sports biz. You go to a hockey game and complain that the Leafs price just went up and right away you go online and say look how greedy Rogers who own them is, they may well be greedy but now one mentions a huge part of that price is the greedy players like the hack Mikail Grabovski who is demanding 3 million. There is nothing wrong with Neil and he could very easily play solo or replace his guitar player with a couple of rehearsals but why should he bother when he knows his fans will never blame him, he is untouchable, they will take it out on the festival. Stop and think, don’t judge and assume. If you want to know why you paid such a high price in the first place ask Neil, he would have a contract with a 100 pages of specific requirements like any other huge artist that the promoter must agree to and pay up front, including the hard costs of his flights, limos, first class hotels and meals, the sound lights and video would all be ten times the costs of previous artists the festival and security onsite dressing rooms and on and on it goes.
But of course our greedy know it all self centered googling culture hears one person start complaining about a ripoff and they all jump onto the carcass like vultures without stopping to think that the people running these events including their staff dont make any more money it goes to hard costs and those hard costs dont just vanish into thin air because Neil is too grumpy to show up.
Most of the expensive things needed for Neil would be already contracted and cant get cancelled, the things that can be cancelled will have deposits and cancellation charges. Time and money is spent to hire dozens of people over the course of an entire year to deal with that, should they give their pay back? None of this was caused by the people who run the festival it was caused by the artist.
Use your brain concert goers, its common sense the people who run these events care about the people and want them to have an amazing time and tell their friends and come back.
But of course you wont listen to this, its much more fun to bully and demand with uneducated assumptions right?

Chuck Naughton says:

I will bet you a wood fired pizza at the GHP that both the promoter and the performer had insured against losses on account of an accident. So the costs are recoverable if I should win the bet. So your rant against fans who feel ripped off is based on false premises.

And do we know how many more tickets have been sold this year? I’ll bet you 2 extra toppings that the growth in sales far exceeds the growth from year 1 to year 2. Once the natural growth is factored out of the increase, this is the measure of how many tickets were sold SOLELY because Neil Young and Crazy Horse were scheduled to appear.

And I would dare say that if the promoter offered full refunds, many would take advantage but most would not and the GHP would continue to grow in an organic manner.

Drew Carter says:

You are showing your ignorance of the Music Business.. Ottawa had the same contract.. and was able to offer Neil for $49.. not the $80 that Greenbelt charged.
Last year tickets were $69. Mr. Gauthier compared his festival to Edgefest.. the cost of that 1 day festival; $70. Grovefest (which is a 1 day festival similar in size to Greenbelt had their top act Mackelmore pull out) They gave a full refund.. and rescheduled their festival for $55 per day. Greenbelt is not a small local festival, it is being put on by one of the richest musicians in North America.. Denis Lanois! Mr. Gautier is just a talking head.. it’s Denis’ show.

Music Lover says:

Gordon Lightfoot; Beautiful.

I saw NY&CH last fall, great shows too. I love Neil, but with him you always have to put up with his crazy fans. The same people griping about refunds, would have been griping that he didn’t play Heart Of Gold.

Last year’s Harvest Picnic was great. I thought booking NY&CH was a little outside their usual gentle harmony line-up as great as NY&CH are.

Looking forward to Sundown, at the green and pleasant Christie Lake.

kwhisperer says:

I am a HUGE fan of Gordon Lightfoot, own everything he’s done and consider him the best we’ve produced. Unfortunately, his voice severely eroded a long time ago and folks will be seeing a dim shadow of what Lightfoot was. Putting Lightfoot on the bill is one thing but it is quite another to present Lightfoot as a replacement for Neil Young – the fans won’t be happy and it will look very bad on Gordie. Sad situation.

Brian Sharwood says:

I think the festival should do the right thing and offer a refund. It’s fair, it’s right, and what irks me most, is the Greenbelt Foundation, which is a good cause, is on the wrong side of this. I’ll donate the $40 of my entire refund directly to the foundation if they do it. I suspect if they made it easy to do that, lots of others would do the same thing.

John says:

What a scam.

If it wa truly about the farmers, as Lanois and company claim, then why did they charge $150 in the first place? Expensive tickets mean fewer attendees, which means less money and promotion for the vendors and farmers.

No, this was always about the money, further evidenced by this latest scam they’re trying to pull. Why didn’t they give a refund reduce tickets to the same price as last year? Because it’s all about lining the promoter’s pockets using Neil Young as the bait and switch.

vg says:

Garrett – The only one that seems to be making ‘ignorant’ and ‘uneducated’ assumptions is you. Bands cancel shows all the time, and then there is a make up show or a full refund. The promoter (not Neil) has decided to do neither in this case. The promoter is putting on this scam of a show, not Neil Young and Crazy Horse.

gomez says:

It’s the same as in professional sports. You pay good money to see the main star… if he goes down with an injury the day before …they still play the game without him and there are NO refunds. People book hotels and travel for those games too. NYCH is the main star that’s out but the rest of the lineup still plays with a substitute. It’s the chance you take with any entertainment event.

Drew Carter says:

People who took a chance with the Ottawa Folk Festival, and Grovefest got treated with respect.. they also got full refunds.. those Festival’s have integrity the only thing Greedbelt has is $$ taken under false pretenses!

Johnh says:

Gomez, it is not the same as professional sports at all. In sport the game still goes on with your favorite team.
Well Crazy Horse is my favorite band, and the game is not going on.
If you want to use sports analogy, It is more like paying to see the Toronto Maple leafs, one of the Leafs gets hurt, and instead they send out the Etobicoke Red Wings, and then expect you to thank them for it and issue no refund.

Mike hayes says:

Gomez, when you buy a ticket to a sporting event, on the ticket
it says the name of the team, not the star player so as long as the team
shows up you got what you paid for. Ads for this event clearly had
NY CH as the star.
@ Garrett- you have no idea how these things work obviously.

Mike hayes says:

BTW, for people saying that this isn’t being run professionally, you
would be right. JP Gauthier is doing this as a side job, he is a teacher
in Brantford.

Nobhill Farmz says:

Gomez – go pound salt. Your view from the depths of your intestines is at best blurred. All the information is there. A refund is owed. The promoter is taking the extra money built on the sales against Neil Young performing and he equated this performance at Greenbelt to a full on Neil Young show. All the marketing billed it as such. What it means for the future of this event is anyone’s guess. I won’t go to any event associated with Lanois or Gauthier. These are bad guys.

vg says:

The above sports comparison is horrible, for it to make any sense, Neil would have to come with a substitute guitar player, otherwise it is if we paid to see the Ticats and they substituted them with the Marauders. NYCH is a stadium touring band and the rest of these acts are bar bands.

Dee says:

After having read all of the commentary, I really agree with all of the comments. It is too bad, Mr Young cancelled at the last minute. Having said that,I think the other performers stepped up to the challenge and really gave there all. I was knocked out by “Whitehorse” one of the best duos I have seen in a long time. Personally, I accepted the refund; could have been a little more – even $50 would have appeased a lot of people. But like they say, you can’t count on anything in life and our aging rock stars are no different!

And yes, i will attend the festival next year!

Davis Young says:

DREW CARTER WRITES “You are showing your ignorance of the Music Business.. Ottawa had the same contract.. and was able to offer Neil for $49.. not the $80 that Greenbelt charged.
Last year tickets were $69. Mr. Gauthier compared his festival to Edgefest.. the cost of that 1 day festival; $70. Grovefest (which is a 1 day festival similar in size to Greenbelt had their top act Mackelmore pull out) They gave a full refund.. and rescheduled their festival for $55 per day. Greenbelt is not a small local festival, it is being put on by one of the richest musicians in North America.. Denis Lanois! Mr. Gautier is just a talking head.. it’s Denis’ show.”

Drew – a note regarding YOUR ignorance —- Denis Lanois is Daniel Lanois and Mr. Gautier (actually spelled Gauthier) – is a promoter — not a talking head – unless you consider organizing every detail of the event and taking the financial risk –

and .. “Ottawa had the same contract..” — what do you pretend to know about the confidential performance agreement that Ottawa did with Neil as opposed to what Harvest Picnic entered into –

I am sorry that your glass is always half empty – cause the 10,000 people – were treated to a special day in a special place — it was unfortunate set of events leading up to the event – but bravo to those you called thieves for staying the course and producing a first class event.