CHARITY events organiser Kevin Green found himself in a bit of a pickle this week as disgruntled darts followers accused him of selling them a red herring in the form of VIP tickets to the Borders Masters event at Springwood Park, Kelso, writes Fiona Scott.
The weekend extravaganza, which saw 10 of the world’s top players descend on the Borders, appeared to be going well, with tickets selling Borders-wide and the players making their scheduled appearances both at the Friday night’s Nations Cup and the Masters on the Saturday.
However, Galashiels businessman Dave Easson, and some of his chums from the Auld Mill darts team, were less than impressed when it came to value for money.
“It was £50 for a standard ticket and £100 for a VIP ticket, so we thought ‘let’s treat ourselves’ and went for the VIP table (10 seats per table) costing £1,000 in total,” explained Mr Easson.
“We were told by Mr Green prior to the event that the tickets included a meal, drinks on the table and that the ‘celeb darts players’ would come round the table for a chat.
“What a letdown and disappointment. The only thing we got for an extra £50 on our VIP ticket was fish and chips in a cardboard box from the chippy outside – we could have bought them ourselves for £6.
“We would like to know from the organiser what the extra £50 was for. Or was it really the fish and chips?
“Damned expensive chippy if that is the case.”
When TheSouthern put the question to Mr Green this week, he was more than happy to respond.
“I have already spoken to Mr Easson on the phone, but he obviously still feels aggrieved,” he said.
“We brought in the idea of giving out tokens for the chip shop because we thought it would alleviate the problem of serving food around people who had been drinking all day and it also meant that the VIP guests could choose when they went for something to eat.
“All the table organisers were told of this three weeks before the event and all of them seemed quite happy about it. If they hadn’t been they could have contacted me and taken one of the £50 tickets instead.
“As far as the players were concerned, then that was out of my hands.
“The crowd were getting a bit rowdy and their management would not let them roam about the venue.
“Again, if someone had complained at the time, then I would have arranged to take them through to the players’ lounge to meet them.”
“From the £50 extra, £10 was for the food, they got cheese and biscuits also at their tables, £3 was for their programme and £2 went towards table linen etc. The other £35 bought them premium seats at tables at the front of the hall.
“I’ve had some great feedback from people who bought tickets, so was a bit disappointed to hear Mr Easson’s comments, but I suppose with an event as big as this one was you can’t keep everyone happy.
“I will have to think carefully about whether or not to continue trying to put on these events in the future.”
The event, held last month, was run in conjunction with Scottish Darts Exhibitions and Modus UK, with monies from programme sales going to local charities.