Boost for HMV voucher holders as Picture House performs a U-turn

The Spin Doctors will take to the stage next Wednesday and fans with HMV vouchers can use them to pay for entry
The Spin Doctors will take to the stage next Wednesday and fans with HMV vouchers can use them to pay for entry
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VENUE bosses have performed an 11th-hour U-turn after banning a kind-hearted promoter from accepting HMV vouchers as entry to a gig after the company collapsed.

The owners of the HMV Picture House feared they would be tainted if they allowed useless vouchers to be used as payment to an upcoming Spin Doctors gig.

Gavin Hogg, 51, whose company GMH Promotions runs music gigs at venues around the city, had offered to accept them for entry to the concert next Wednesday at the Lothian Road venue.

He was then forced to withdraw the offer after claiming venue bosses had warned of “possible legal ramifications”.

But a few hours after, Mr Hogg who lives on the south side of the city, announced he would have to come up with a “Plan B”, the venue bosses changed their minds and agreed to his idea.

Customers of music store HMV discovered earlier this week that gift vouchers purchased from the chain would no longer be accepted, as the troubled company moved into administration.

Mr Hogg said that managers at the HMV Picture House, which is owned by a separate company from the music retailer and has distanced itself from the troubled chain, had argued the move would cause confusion and could have unforeseen consequences for other venues and promoters.

He said: “I’ve now been told that they will allow me to accept the vouchers from people who wish to attend the Spin Doctors gig. However, they do wish to stress that this is something I am doing in my position as promoter, and does not affect any other gig at any of their venues.

“I’ve still to work out the logistics, but I’m really pleased that they’ve agreed. I also hope this will perhaps encourage people who haven’t been to a gig in a while to start supporting live music again. Attendance has been falling, and if we’re not careful we’ll start losing all the really big shows to Glasgow.”

Gavin had initially been left in “despair” after fearing his plan would be ruled out, and said he was only trying to help those who had lost out.

“There’s so many people who have spent their money on these vouchers in good faith, who are now being told they are worthless, and it just seems so unfair to me,” he said. “Lots of parents will have got them for their kids for Christmas and now they’re being left with nothing in return.

“I wanted to try and make a positive out of a negative and give them a great live experience they wouldn’t forget. The recession has hit gig attendance too, and as the Picture House holds about 1500 people and is an over-14s venue so we could accommodate lots of voucher holders.”

Thanks to the change of heart by the venue owners, though, he will now be going ahead with the offer.

A spokeswoman for the Picture House said she understood the promoter was going to accept HMV vouchers for his event.

New collapse threatens thousands of jobs

THOUSANDS of jobs are at risk after DVD and games rental firm Blockbuster collapsed.

Administrator Deloitte blamed the firm’s trading woes on competition from internet firms and digital streaming of movies and games.

Blockbuster – which has seven branches in the Capital – employs 4190 staff across the UK and has two million active members.

Deloitte said the business was profitable and that it would keep all of its 528 stores open while seeking a buyer.

Joint administrator Lee Manning said: “We are working closely with suppliers and employees to ensure the business has the best possible platform to secure a sale.”