Sudbury Town Council has defended itself after a wrestling promoter claimed the authority’s incompetence resulted in him cancelling a show.
LDN Wrestling was due to hold an event at the Delphi Centre on Saturday but the show was called off at the last minute.
Promoter Sanjay Bagga said this was due to organisers being locked out of the venue, which was hired from the council, as staff arrived 40 minutes late.
Sue Brotherwood, town council clerk, admitted a “minor error” had been made which led to the doors being locked but said it was unnecessary to cancel the event.
“For some reason, the bowls club locked the doors when they left and this caused a problem,” she said.
“However, there are emergency numbers that are on a board outside the centre and Sanjay could have rang them. When the bar staff arrived and offered to help, he said it was too late and cancelled.”
Mr Bagga, 27, said he had arrived at the venue at 5.30pm to get everything ready for a 7.30pm start.
“We needed to set up the ring, steps and music system but we could not get in,” he said.
“Lots of children come to these events and we are meant to finish at 9.30pm, but the delays pushed everything back and it would have got too late. The whole situation was shocking and we had to disappoint people.”
Mr Bagga, who has been a promoter for 10 years, said he had expected around 100 people to attend and the cancellation had cost him £1,400.
“The council was negligent and has refused to accept responsibilty,” he said. “It was ridiculous and the council should pay for my lost earnings.”
However, Mrs Brotherwood said although staff were around 20 minutes late, the show could still have gone ahead.
“It was an over-reaction to cancel and we offered to do all we could to put the event on,” she said. “It is unfortunate.”
Mrs Brotherwood added that the Tourist Information Centre had sold 17 tickets for the show and bar staff had remained on the premises after Mr Bagga had left to inform people of the cancellation.
“He had expected a lot of walk-ins on the night but only 19 people turned up,” she said.
All those who had bought tickets for the event have been refunded.