CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Excited parents and children showed up to see the “Nutcracker on Ice” at the Chesterfield Towne Center, only for there to be no show. The Ice Capades production was abruptly postponed and many say they were not notified of any changes, turning the holiday cheer into disappointment.
The “Nutcracker on Ice” is a traveling ice show that tours during the holiday season. The Christmas classic was scheduled for multiple dates at Chesterfield Towne Center, but was supposed to kick off on Thursday, Dec. 2.
Alex Balas told 8News he bought five tickets and his two young children were very excited, even sporting new holiday outfits, but the day of the show wasn’t so magical.
“It looked like something fun to do with the kids for the holiday season. We even recruited our friends to bring their kids,” Balas said. “We were supposed to go see this at 5 o’clock. It is Friday– the same day– and we found out about it (ourselves). If we hadn’t of found out about it, we would have been like other folks.”
Other folks like Christina Scott. She told 8News she drove from Colonial Heights with her four children to see the show last week, but ended up spending 30 minutes walking the mall looking for the show.
Scott added when she approached mall employees, many did not know or told her others were asking the same questions.
Balas shared that he lives close to the mall and on Dec. 3, the day he was supposed to attend, he drove by Chesterfield Towne Center and didn’t see anything set up. The show is advertised as an ice-rink in a climate controlled large tent. Balas said he did not see any tent or signs, which sparked him to do his own investigation on social media.
He logged on to Facebook and searched the Ice Capades page, only to see ‘postponed’ followed by dozens of comments from confused and angry ticket buyers in the same situation.
“Like why didn’t you email us,” Balas questioned. “Why didn’t you tell us. It was a high level of skepticism and suspicion.”
The father of two began to think the show was a scam along with dozens more online. He and others said they received no email notification that the show was postponed and he filed a report with Chesterfield County Police after multiple attempts to get in contact with organizers.
8News obtained tickets from one mother who purchased her tickets through Eventbrite and said she also was never notified. Another out-of-state ticket holder said she received an email, but was skeptical because the show name was incorrect saying “nutter cracker event” instead of “nutcracker event”. The email also didn’t display any official logo or signature and didn’t contain any information about new dates or refunds.
In that email was a phone number and gmail address to contact with questions. 8News called and emailed. A customer representative answered the phone and said they hadn’t been authorized to issue refunds at the current time and organizers were working to reschedule. She also disputed the alleged lack of notification and advised people to double check their email addresses were entered correctly.
“We’ve been sending out emails,” the representative said. “Once in the morning, once in the afternoon and one in the evening.”
Multiple people who booked through Eventbrite shared they were receiving emails the day before their show as a reminder of it still happening. The Ice Capades representative and Jim Davis, Executive Director of Stellar Entertainment, confirmed to 8News that performances were abruptly postponed because a key member was diagnosed with COVID-19 and it was unsafe.
Davis stated his company is not producing the show, but helping out with the event and provided the statement below:
“The tentboss, which in circus terms is the construction GM, was diagnosed with COVID just before the opening of the event. Without a tentboss that is familiar with the particular big top it isn’t safe to erect the tent. We have had the ticket agency contact all ticket holders about the show being postponed.”
Jim Davis, Executive Director of Stellar Entertainment
Dozens, like Balas, said they still have not received any email as of Monday. He said he understands the pandemic and world we live in now, but what’s frustrating is the lack of communication.
“I would expect every ticket holder to be notified,” Balas said.
Stellar Entertainment Group also stated they are working to hopefully provide a makeup show in March and when a date is secured, they’ll notify customers or offer refunds. However, for some like Balas, they aren’t interested after this experience and have already contacted their credit card companies or bank.
8News reached out to managers at Chesterfield Towne Center who said the event was cancelled and directed us to the Ice Capades for further information.
If you have questions about the postponed shows, you’re asked to email email@example.com or call 941-343-2378.