Nearly 400 people had planned to kick off their weekend Friday night at a concert in Gaithersburg by one of the hottest groups on the local musical scene. But Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers were booked instead at a nightclub in the District, and Montgomery County police said yesterday that the $8 paid for each bogus ticket for the go-go concert appeared to be gone.
According to Montgomery County police spokesman Cpl. Phillip Caswell, police received information early Friday afternoon that the show, which according to fliers was to be held at the Gaithersburg Marriott at 9 p.m. that night, was a fake. After the hotel denied that a concert was scheduled, police asked local radio and TV stations to alert the public.
"Only 25 people showed up for the concert Friday night so we didn't have any trouble. The rest of them probably received word ahead of time and didn't show," Caswell said. "Unfortunately, for those who purchased tickets, they are out of $8."
Caswell said police are investigating a man and woman, who paid a $250 deposit to reserve a ballroom at the Marriott for Friday night. The couple told the hotel reservations clerk that they intended to have a birthday party for a former boxer and that Chuck Brown would provide musical entertainment. Caswell would not release their names.
"The Marriott later became suspicious of the party and cancelled the reservation," Caswell said. Michael Roddy, the general manager of the Gaithersburg Marriott, could not be reached yesterday.
Police said they are investigating several leads in the case, including the name of the promotional company that was listed on fliers distributed in Montgomery and Frederick counties and the District.
Caswell said police contacted a spokesman for Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers, but the spokesman said he knew nothing about the Gaithersburg engagement. The spokesman told police that the group was scheduled to perform in the District Friday night.
Caswell asked anyone who has tickets to the cancelled show to take them to police to help in the investigation.