Los Tigres del Norte reschedules concert after Cotillion cancellation, chaos

A well-known Hispanic band that failed to show up for a concert at the Cotillion over the weekend, resulting in a disturbance that required police to break up, has re-scheduled a performance for Sept. 6.

Los Tigres del Norte will return to the Cotillion after being unable to get to Wichita for the planned performance Friday because two of its flights out of Dallas were canceled, said Blas Gaytan, the band’s Tulsa-based promoter.

Tickets, priced at $35 and $40, will not be refunded, Gaytan said. But anyone who had purchased one of the 1,400 tickets can get a replacement ticket at no charge from the outlet where the ticket was first purchased.

Gaytan acknowledged that those outlets wouldn’t have the name of those who purchased the tickets originally.

“We’re doing this in good faith,” he said. “I just want people who had purchased the ticket to enjoy the dance. It’s not a free concert. We’re not going to sell any more tickets.”

As of Monday afternoon, about 1,200 tickets had been claimed for the concert, Gayton said. He said the number of re-issued tickets would be cut off at 1,900 so the concert would remain under the Cotillion’s capacity of 2,000.

Los Tigres del Norte, a band that dates to the 1960s and winner of five Latin Grammy Awards, had every intention of fulfilling its Friday commitment to play at the Cotillion, Gaytan said.

Workers with the band began setting up equipment at the Cotillion on West Kellogg at 9:30 Friday morning, Cotillion owner Richard Leslie said. The band leased the facility.

“Some people have said this was all a scam,” Leslie said, “but that’s not what happened at all. The band just couldn’t get here.”

The warm-up band began playing about 9 p.m. as scheduled, and Los Tigres del Norte were supposed to take the stage about midnight and play until 1:30 a.m. But both flights the band attempted to take Friday night, starting at about 8:30 p.m., were canceled, Gaytan said.

Gaytan, who was at the concert, arranged for a band member to announce by phone to the crowd that the band couldn’t make it but there would be the makeup concert next month. That didn’t appease many in the crowd.

“They started turning violent and throwing beer cans,” he said. “It really aggravates me that we had to risk ourselves to explain what happened.”

A Cotillion employee called the police, who arrived shortly before 12:30 a.m. No one was injured.

During the disturbance, the glass on a ticket booth was broken and about 300 tickets and as much as $20,000 were stolen, Gaytan said.

There was no mention of stolen tickets or money in the Wichita police report. It only referred to a “large disturbance” and the damaged property. No arrests have been made, Lt. Joe Schroeder said.

Leslie said a security camera recorded the ticket counter break-in, but he said he had seen the video only once and wasn’t aware of anything being stolen. He added it would be up to Gaytan to file a report with the police about anything stolen.

Gaytan said he didn’t file a report about the tickets or the $20,000.

“We just want to forget this and move on,” he said.

Zambrina Mireles, who attended Friday night’s concert with her husband, isn’t ready to forget.

“Why can’t we get our money back?” she said. “It’s like paying $40 to go the movie and watching infomercials for three hours and then no movie.”

Rescheduling a Friday night event for a weekday – Sept. 6 is on a Thursday – wasn’t acceptable, she said.

“That’s ridiculous,” Mireles said. “You have us there, buying your beer, then you reschedule it for Thursday night. Really? A lot of people have to be at work, get kids off to school. The way it was handled was terrible.”

But what really infuriates her, she said, is that she has been to two other Hispanic concerts at the Cotillion where at least one of the bands didn’t show up. She said that hasn’t been a problem for Hispanic concerts at other venues in the Wichita area.

“It’s a joke in the Hispanic community that this happens all the time at the Cotillion,” Mireles said.

But Leslie said he’s never had a Hispanic band not show up for a scheduled performance at the Cotillion.

Los Tigres del Norte eventually got to Wichita shortly before 2:30 a.m., and the band was able to perform as scheduled at a concert Saturday night in Garden City, Gaytan said. The band also played in Lubbock, Texas, on Sunday night.

“And they’ll be back in Wichita,” he said. “They’ll come back. They have a good reputation.”