Hoo-hoo! There’s hope for jilted fans | AspenTimes.com

Hoo-hoo! There’s hope for jilted fans

Stewart Oksenhorn

The snafu that left ticket-holding fans of “The Simpsons” out in the Aspen cold last week hardly compares to the near-weekly meltdowns under Homer Simpson’s watch in sector 7-G of the Springfield Power Plant.

Still, the hearts of the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival heads go out to those who were denied seats for the first-ever live presentations of “The Simpsons,” a highlight of last week’s festival.

Due to miscalculations of the size of the “Simpsons” entourage and the popularity of the event, several dozen fans with tickets were denied access to the second of two presentations at the Wheeler Opera House. USCAF staffers went among the crowd outside the Wheeler and collected the names of those who were not allowed in on Friday night.

“We really feel bad,” said USCAF executive director Stu Smiley. “It was our mistake. We’ll try to make it better next time, because we know how important Aspen has been to the success of the festival.

“If I were one of those people, I’d be equally upset.”

Rather than just feel bad, the USCAF heads are searching for a way to compensate the unfortunate fans. Smiley said yesterday afternoon that no method of recompense had been decided upon yet, but he and other festival heads were working on a plan.

One option under consideration, he said, is giving ticketholders who were turned away a “carte blanche” local’s pass to next year’s festival.

“We’re talking about it right now,” said Smiley. “We have their names and phone numbers, and we’re going to contact them and try to resolve what was an unfortunate situation and unfortunate occurrence. But we don’t know yet what we’re going to do.

“We do want to make things right,” he said.

Since the live performances of “The Simpsons” was such a unique event – as well as a unanimous hit – Smiley is looking at inventive ways of accommodating those turned away.

“One of the things we talked about with Mike Scully, the executive producer of `The Simpsons,’ is if they’re ever in Los Angeles, is to attend a `Simpsons’ read-through,” said Smiley. “That might not be possible, but we might be able to do it for some of the people.”

Smiley said that he had the names of some 25 people who had tickets but were not allowed into the event.

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