By Stuart Huggett
A Brighton-based promotion company was forced to apologise to fans of Canadian stadium rock after an April Fool’s Day joke backfired.
Put It On’s April 1 mail-out claimed that Peart, touring the UK’s stadiums with Rush during May, had contacted the promoters to request the support slot.
The email said: “We are arranging for his full (109 piece!!) rotating drumkit to be assembled in The Hope on Mon May 23, where he will regale the crowd to a unique and totally improvised 30 MINUTE DRUM SOLO!! [sic] I have been told that Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson may also be in attendance…”
Despite a subtle hint in the message sent to fans, of “You’d be a fool to miss out”, there was an immediate flurry of sales for the show on We Got Tickets, prompting Put It On’s Phil Riot – himself a big Rush fan – to admit to the prank and offer a full refund to those who had already purchased tickets.
Speaking to Brighton Lite, Riot, owner of Put It On Promotions, said: “I think the point of a decent April Fool is that it’s believable on first reading but obviously suspicious when looked at in depth.
“Rush actually do have a day off on their UK tour that day, but then again, a 109 piece rotating drumkit in the 100 capacity confines of The Hope?”
We Got Tickets were happy to honour the refunds but did still claim booking fees from Put It On.
They told Riot: “We thought it was a pretty funny April Fools’ joke by the way, if that makes you feel any better!”
Riot is prepared to face any Rush fans’ wrath when he goes to their London O2 concert on May 25, but adds: “The only really grovelling apology I had to make was to David (Bramwell) from Oddfellows Casino, who sent a touchingly sincere email about how excited he was to have scored tickets in time.
“I reckon this will be the last time I do something like this, otherwise I’ll never be able to confidently promote anything again.”
The group Thank You will actually play the Prince Albert in Brighton and not the Hope.