Brixton Academy Owner Shares Story of Chaos in Wake of Kurt Cobain's Death Before Scheduled Nirvana Concerts
Posted by Jeffrey Harris on 01.25.2014
They avoided a massive refund of tickets...
The Guardian has an extract from Simon Parkes' book, Live At the Brixton Academy: A riotous life in the music business, which recounts the chaos after Kurt Cobain's death before a run of planned Nirvana shows at the Brixton Academy in 1994.
Parkes, the owner of London's O2 Academy Brixton, said the venue was able to avoid refunding thousands of tickets which "would come to over £250,000". Parkes put out a claim on BBC One Radio after Cobain's death that fans all over the globe were desperate to own the ticket stubs as a piece of rock memorabilia.
Parkes wrote: "My wild claim had been picked up on the news wire, been passed through the Chinese-whisper machine of the popular press, and gone global. I don't know how we did it, but in the end fewer than 20% of ticket-holders demanded a refund. To those that did, we were happy to refund a ticket for £13.50 and then immediately sell it on for £100. Not only did we not go under because of Kurt's death, bizarrely we ended up turning a profit on four gigs that never happened."
Cobain's death was announced on April 8, 1994. The Nirvana shows at Brixton were going to be held on April 17-20 the same year.