Following is the text of emails sent by David Lyons, a lawyer for Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, to customers who filed complaints regarding VIP passes sold for the Nashville landmark's 50th anniversary celebration:
I am general counsel for Tootsie's Orchid Lounge. Your complaint about the 50th Anniversary Tootsie's concert has come to my attention. I just received the complaint on December 6, and therefore have not had an opportunity to gather information and respond before now.
In regard to this complaint, Tootsie's denies that its promotional material was deceptive or unfair, and would reply as follows:
1. The promotional material for the VIP package (at $150) specifically states that the ticket holder will have preferred seats at the Ryman. It is in fact true that VIP ticket holders were provided seats on the floor and balcony as close to the stage as possible, based upon the date they purchased their tickets.
2. VIP ticket holders were provided access to all activities. Those activities included entrance to Tootsie's, Rippy's, and the VIP tent set up between Rippy's and Tootsie's. We had Broadway closed off between 4th and 5th Avenues, and the ONLY persons who could enter the area and specifically the VIP tent were VIP ticket holders. The festivities started early in the day, and Terri Clark, Little Jimmie Dickens, and other performers were available both to VIP ticket holders and the press through the day and evening.
3. VIP ticket holders were provided access to all pre and post concert events. Those events included contact with performers, food and drinks both before and after the concert.
4. VIP ticket holders were given a commemorative t-shirt memorializing the event.
5. Hors d'oeuvres and two free drinks were available to all of the VIP ticket holders.
The 50th Anniversary Tootsie's concert was more successful that the owners could believe. The show was sold out. While VIP ticket holders were provided access to Tootsie's after the show, and were provided access to performers before the show, we acknowledge because of fire regulations, we could not accommodate all of the ticket holders who wanted to spend the remainder of the evening in Tootsie's. However both the VIP tent and Rippy's were reserved for VIP ticket holders, and the reason we provided the tent between Rippy's and Tootsie's was to accommodate our VIP ticket holders.
We are sorry that some ticket holders were not able to get close enough to the performers who were there to mingle, or could not be accommodated in Tootsie's due to the tremendous popularity of the event. We simply had to ensure the safety of those ticket holders who were inside Tootsie's, and we attempted to accommodate the overload by providing the VIP tent situated on Broadway, and at Rippy's.
A reading of the promotional material for the event does NOT indicate deception on the part of Tootsie's. Nevertheless, it is not in the best interest of Tootsie's or Nashville that tourists leave unhappy. We are therefore willing to provide a $110 refund to any VIP ticket holder who can provide us with their VIP ticket and credit card receipt showing the ticket was purchased.
You are free to contact my office for the refund, and the refund will be promptly delivered upon proof of your attendance and the purchase of the VIP ticket.