Home' LOTL : February 2010 Contents 12 Lesbians On The Loose Magazine • lotl.com
Lifestyle Opinion / Profile / Travel / Food / Stars
It was billed as the biggest event on the lesbian calendar for the year -- United
L Events' L Wo rd Convention -- but in late November, just two months out
from the event, the promoters unceremoniously cancelled the whole she-
bang via a message on their website:
"Dear L Word Down Under Convention Ticket Purchasers.
Due to the lack of tickets sales for the L Word Down Under
Convention,United L Events Inc. is regrettably cancelling the event.
Please note that all ticket purchases will be processed within 5 days of
the cancellation, (excluding booking fees) and according to the terms and
conditions on the website. For any enquiries please contact info@thelword-
The decision left many L Wo r d fans not only disappointed but out of pock-
et as well. Attending this event was never going to be an inexpensive enter-
prise. Minimum ticket prices were upwards of 300 dollars and for interstate
and overseas attendees the price tag was so much more after accommodation
and ﬂights were taken into consideration. What was to be a celebration of a
fantastic show, and a chance to meet cast and crew and hook up with like-
minded fans, has instead left a bitter aftertaste.
Whilst those who purchased their tickets via credit card have been re-
imbursed, those early birds who bought tickets via PayPal are still dangling
in the wind. The aforementioned email address elicits no response and those
lucky enough to have a contact number for the promoter receive no return
calls. The LWorddownunder website has been pulled down and our email
enquiries are met with silence from the promoters.
Ticket holders have converged online to voice their rage and indeed this
publication has been inundated with angry and confused letters from the fans
indignant at the cancellation.
Whilst LOTL offered sponsored advertising to the L Wo rd Convention,
when it came to the cancellation of the event we were as much in the dark
as you -- a situation shared by fellow supporter, Pink Sofa, also a sponsor of
Liz James comments, "At Pink Sofa, we are very concerned that a large
number of ticket holders have not yet received a refund for their ticket. We
became a sponsor of the event in good faith, and worked very hard to help
the promoter make this a great event. This included incurring substantial
costs for which Pink Sofa has still not been paid.
“We understand there are also a number of other media companies and
individual promoters who have not been paid for their services. Late last
year the promoter cancelled or simply didn't turn up to meetings that were
meant to advise Pink Sofa on the progress of the event. The promoter then
cancelled the event.... We are committed to working with a number of estab-
lished event operators within the lesbian space to produce a charter to help
ensure the quality and credibility of future events for Australian lesbians."
Silke Bader, publisher of LOTL, adds, "LOTL works with and supports a
great number of community groups, girls' nights and events. From experi-
ence we understand that it takes a great deal of hard work and marketing
investment to make an event a success. Established promoters will know this
very well. We did not take on a full media partnership with this event but
rather offered sponsored advertising in an effort make the event a success as
we hoped it would make a fabulous contribution to our community. We were
disappointed to hear the Convention was not going ahead and now to learn
that not all refunds have been processed. We are keen to see that the ticket
holders are compensated."
Meanwhile the punters have not been sitting idly by. Beware the wrath of
a disgruntled ticket holder - fans have been speaking out on forums on tibet-
te.com and have even launched a Facebook group, ‘L Word down under is
cancelled', to share their concerns and update each other on plans of action.
So far the ACCC, QLD Department of Fair Trading and Consumer Affairs
have all been contacted by ticketholders to lodge complaints.
The latest development sees Consumer Protection in WA (their version
of Consumer Affairs) dealing with 30 formal complaints. Stephen Meagher,
Manager of Retail and Service Industries at WA Consumer Protection, says,
"Our enquiries have revealed that the organisation that promoted the event
has run into ﬁnancial difﬁculties and formal winding up processes will take
"It is apparent that most people booked their tickets on-line using a credit
card. If consumers have paid for their ticket by this method we recommend
that they apply to their bank to seek a credit card charge reversal.
"Should their bank refuse to reverse the transaction they should lodge a
formal complaint with Consumer Protection. Complaint forms can be down-
loaded from commerce.wa.gov.au."
So what can you do if you have yet to receive a refund? Contact your
local Consumer Affairs department, or download the complaint form from
Commerce WA. If your tix were bought under 120 days ago, lodge a charge
dispute with your bank and ask for a chargeback. Visit tibette.com and check
out the forum posts where you’ll ﬁnd a lot of likeminded fans airing their
grievances and sharing info.
Stay tuned to lotl.com for further updates.
When LOTL magazine rst started life
20 years ago lesbian media was almost
non-existent. Two decades later and
Sydney, nay, Australia, has a thriving les-
bian scene and publications that re ect
this, the oldest of which is LOTL, which
over the past two decades has sought
to provide lesbians with a way to feel
supported, to promote solidarity, and to
bring lesbian identity to the forefront in
terms of acceptance and visibility.
In the words of LOTL Business Man-
ager Amanda Keeling, "The rights of
Australia's gay and lesbian citizens have
come a long way in 20 years."
"We are proud to provide high quality,
relevant content and a way for women
and lesbians to connect to the commu-
nity," says publisher Silke Bader, who
took on the magazine ten years ago
when original publisher Frances Rand
decided to call it a day.
"LOTL has always symbolised identity
for me," says Bader. "It is this sense of
identity that we wish to celebrate as a
community with the LOTL cover exhi-
bition, this special collector's issue of
LOTL and a Mardi Gras parade night
Bader has cause to celebrate -- where
other publishing houses are shrinking
or seeing their magazines close their
doors, Bader has just taken on the
ambitious step of producing another
lesbian magazine -- BOUND -- a glossy
full colour newsstand mag. Former
LOTL editor Merryn Johns heads up
Still, LOTL will always be Bader's
baby. "I am so proud that LOTL has
reached this important milestone and
that as a community we can re ect on
this chapter together. Thank you to my
lovely team who help put the magazine
together each month. A huge thank
you also to all our readers, advertisers
and contributors that have made this
journey possible. Happy 20th, LOTL."
L Word convention
Celebration! LOTL reaches a media milestone
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