Crusty Demons organisers accused of withholding money
Hundreds of Aussies are fuming after being severely unimpressed by a series of daredevil motorbike stunt shows across the country, and now the organisers have been accused of withholding cash from a small business.
The Crusty Demons' tour of Australia began with a chaotic Sydney show in front of 6500 people at the Campbelltown Sports Stadium in August.
The audience was promised death-defying stunts and pyrotechnics, but hundreds walked out and complained after the show fell disastrously flat.
Since then, news.com.au has heard from motocross fans across the country who made similar complaints about disorganisation, double-booked seats and "VIP seats" that translated to plastic seats with sub-par views of the riders.
Now a small business from North Queensland says the tour organiser, Complete Events Group (CEG), is refusing to hand over thousands of dollars for its services.
Gordan McCormack, who runs a security company, told news.com.au he provided 37 staff members to the Towsnville Demons show on August 31.
His company was supposed to be paid $15,000 for the service and was given $7000 of that upfront, but he hasn't seen a cent of the remaining $8000, seven weeks after it was due to be paid.
"This is killing us," he said. "I'm just a small-business owner. I've got 120 staff members I employ locally and floods destroyed our office earlier this year.
"We lost everything. All we managed to drag out of what was left was a couple of cars and a computer. I had to spend $100,000 to rebuild the office and rebuild my business again from scratch and something like this happens."
To make matters even worse, he says the organisation of the Townsville show was a "complete shambles", and his security guards were the ones who copped the backlash.
"Obviously, people look at our staff like they're the ones in charge, so when seats are double booked and you've paid for a VIP seat which is just a plastic chair, they are the ones that cop it," he said.
On top of the seating complaints, he said attendees were furious about being stranded inside with no cash, as the ATM provider had pulled out and no pass-outs were allowed.
"It was the worst show I've ever been involved in," he said. "People were walking out before the show had even started. It was that bad."
A CEG spokeswoman said the company did "not have any issue with the service Protection Plus Security provided" and the outstanding $8000 would be "paid in full".
However, the deadline for the payment was seven weeks ago, and Mr McCormack said he was working with a collection agency that would start litigation if they had no luck.
It comes as hundreds of disgruntled motocross fans are taking to social media to demand a full refund for the Sydney show that was called off after five minutes of tame jumps and a burnout.
However, CEG is now considering legal advice about the social media campaigners, calling them "a small but aggressive group of cyber bullies that have formed a Facebook page with the intent to target the event and CEG staff".
In an email to customers, seen by news.com.au, CEG accuses customers of name calling, sharing of personal information, blatant sharing of incorrect information, and threatening messages and calls to private phone numbers or social accounts.
"CEG employees have personally reached out to members of the group in an attempt to satisfy their concerns," the company spokeswoman said. "Following serious threats of violence against staff and their families from this group, the matter has now been handed over to the appropriate authorities."
However, some of the attendees at the controversial Sydney show - paying up to $139 each for tickets - are not backing down until they get a full refund.
They say the show in Campbelltown consisted of an hour of "boring" 20-minute interviews with riders before the five-minute show, after which the crowd was told to "get drunk at the bar".
Hundreds could be heard booing loudly and walking out.
"It was a total disaster," Newcastle father-of-three Ryan Baker told news.com.au. "I've never been to a worse event in my entire life. Hundreds and hundreds walked out in disgust."
The show's organisers blamed a sudden blast of strong winds that made conditions "unworkable and life-threatening for the riders" - meaning they had to make some "adjustments to the show".
Now, CEG says it has honoured all Sydney ticketholders with either a new ticket to the rescheduled show on November 16 or a ticket to any other Crusty Demons show on the tour.
It has also offered a 50 per cent refund to anyone unable to attend the new date or an alternative show - with the refund being offered at the end of the tour.
"This is well above the requirements stipulated by Australian consumer law," the company spokeswoman said.
However, it's clear that many of the 600 people who complained about the event are not happy with getting half the ticket price back.
One of them is Sydney mum Leanne Peryman, who took her son to the show.
She says her son can't go to the rescheduled show because of sporting commitments and they've had no luck selling their tickets.
"Due to all the horrific media about all the shows around Australia, we have tried selling the tickets and of course no one is interested," she said. "So how is it fair that we are now out of pocket for these two tickets when we would have never bought tickets for a show on November 16 in the first place?"
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