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WE Fest deals with last-minute ticket problems

“We’re having some issues with our ticket fulfillment company,” said WE Fest General Manager Mark Bjerke. “They have not been able to get them (the tickets) out in a timely manner.”

WE Fest.jpg
WE Fest returns to Detroit Lakes' 400-acre Soo Pass Ranch in early August 2021.
Detroit Lakes Tribune File Photo
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DETROIT LAKES — WE Fest staffers have been working overtime trying to make sure customers get their tickets in time for the Aug. 4-6 country music festival in Detroit Lakes.

“We’re having some issues with our ticket fulfillment company,” said WE Fest General Manager Mark Bjerke. “They have not been able to get them (the tickets) out in a timely manner.”

So WE Fest has gone old-school and is handling the tickets in-house “like we used to do,” he said. “But the phone has been ringing off the hook,” Bjerke added.

“It’s not that we’re not answering the phone,” he explained, but the call volume has been a little overwhelming, even with a half-dozen people working the phones and email inquiries at their Soo Pass Ranch offices.

“We’re frantically working on the issues here,” Bjerke said Friday. “We didn't know it was happening, then we had to have it all shipped to us. We used to do it all ourselves, back in the day,” but a previous owner outsourced the ticket work, and the new owners of WE Fest inherited that system, he said.

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Bjerke estimated about 80% of the tickets have now been processed, and said staffers will keep answering the customer service phone line and emails through the weekend to get the job done in time.

“We’re working as quick as we can, trying to help everyone as quick as we can,” he said.

Trying to get through to anyone to ask about tickets has been extremely frustrating, said Brenda Strand, a retired VA medical worker in Maple Lake. She ordered WE Fest concert tickets and camping for six people back in November, and as of Friday the tickets had still not arrived, she said.

“I spent $1,490 with everything, and they ruined the first part of our vacation,” she said. “Our vacation is kind of screwed.” She said she has been unable to get through on the WE Fest customer service phone lines and has left “about 20” messages that have gone unanswered.

She bought an early-bird camping pass and her group had planned to leave Friday and spend a few days traveling and visiting relatives on the way to WE Fest. But she has had to stay and wait by the mailbox instead, hoping the tickets arrive.

One of those tickets was originally going to be for her brother, Terry Lee Ballard of Lake Park, but he died of COVID in February. “We were going to honor him at WE Fest,” Strand said.

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