Photo posted to “Jurassic Fest Surrey” event on Facebook.

Photo posted to “Jurassic Fest Surrey” event on Facebook.

CLOVERDALE

City cancels permit for ‘Jurassic Fest Surrey,’ which has ghosted ticket-buyers for months

‘I haven’t seen any money yet, and I haven’t seen anything about the event actually happening’

Some people who bought tickets for Jurassic Fest Surrey want their money back, with no luck.

Now, the city has pulled the plug on the dinosaur-themed exhibit, first scheduled for April 1-3 at Cloverdale Fairgrounds’ Agriplex building, was later postponed until Aug. 12-14.

“The impact of COVID-19 and the restrictions” were to blame, event director/producer David Huni wrote in an email from South Africa in March.

On Thursday afternoon (Aug. 4), the city said it has cancelled a permit and won’t approve new/rescheduled dates for the Jurassic Fest event at Cloverdale Fairgrounds, “due to a failure to submit required documentation, including information pertaining to safety matters.”

Event organizers “were given numerous opportunities to provide the required documentation as stipulated under the terms of the Facility Use Permit,” says an email from the city’s Parks, Recreation & Culture department.

“City staff have made every effort to accommodate event organizers, including providing extensions to deadlines for submission of documentation. Despite these accommodations, key pieces of information were not submitted by the final deadline of July 29, including a site plan and security plan.”

In recent weeks, several ticket-buyers have complained that when it comes to refunds, they’ve been ghosted by the event organizers.

Chelsey Rouse said she purchased three tickets for the April event, worth around $50, and later asked for a refund as outlined in an event post on Facebook.

So far, crickets.

“They said you could get tickets for the August event or get a refund, and I want a refund,” Rouse explained. “I haven’t seen any money yet, and I haven’t seen anything about the event actually happening.

“I could have probably made a claim on my VISA card, to get the tickets refunded, but it’s probably too late for that now.”

Rouse said she’s been warning friends to hold off buying tickets.

Likewise, Ryan Unger said he bought four Jurassic Fest Surrey tickets for his family, asked for a refund and was met with silence by the event organizer. 

“There is something strange going on for sure,” Unger wrote in an email to the Now-Leader. “I found it very hard to find evidence of an actual event taking place. Just now I searched and I think there may have been some but very poor quality.”

Another ticket-buyer, Cat Lisiak, sought a refund last March, soon after the event dates were moved from April to August, but has heard nothing from the event organizer.

“I am sure we are not the only people to be out $57 dollars (for three tickets) after repeated requests for a refund,” Lisiak wrote in an email. “It is very disappointing, and I am hoping you can reach out to them and get some answers.”

On Facebook, the travelling exhibition is billed as “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and face-to-face with various gigantic moving prehistoric creatures. See their teeth, see them blink, swaying tails and hear their majestic roar.”

Those who want to buy tickets are directed to the website dinoworldvancouver.com.

Such events must be approved by the City of Surrey’s FEST committee. In a email sent on July 21, Yalda Asadian, Surrey’s Community Enhancement Manager, says city staff “are continuing to work with the event organizers and residents looking for refunds to previously purchased tickets, to ensure timely responses and follow-ups to their requests.”

The Now-Leader has attempted to contact the event organizer about ticket concerns, with no response.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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