Well given the fact that this event virtually sold out of higher-priced tickets on the strength of the announcement of John, and that SM did a very clever marketing campaign to ensure that that happened, I do think that some sort of offfer of limited refunds is now in order. I have a gold ticket, which I won't now be using, and somebody else may want. I'd even happily accept the difference between a standard and gold.
In the circumstances, for SM not to offer anything would be very poor form, and would not exactly encourage John's legion of fans to book any future SM events.
It was never a 'clever marketing campaign' - it was signing up a main cast member for a convention, who at the time was available to appear. It would have been the same had it been Eve or anyone else.
To open up refunds based on the cancellation of a single guest would set a precedent that would cause so many problems in the future.
People know that guests can cancel, and it's solely the choice of the individual to risk booking an event based on one single guest. People need to take responsibility for their own actions, and not act as if Showmasters/Massive Events have done something wrong.
I didn't actually say, and nor did I mean, that anyone has done anything wrong. I do sympathise with SM, this is an awful thing to happen for them. But there most certainly was a marketing campaign before and during Hub 2 to sell tickets on the strength of John's announcement. It made absolute business sense to do so. Now that he's not coming, people should be offered some sort of choice as to whether they want to or not.
To offer nothing is tantamount to saying that if you're solely a John fan (as I am, and therefore really not interested in any of the other guests, lovely people though I'm sure they are), don't bother buying tickets at all.