Popular children's performer Blippi is currently in pretty hot water with the parents of his fans. The popular internet star for the preschool crowd recently announced plans for a national tour. Obviously parents were ready, shelling out their hard earned cash to allow their little ones to see the star live. But now they're learning that the Blippi who will be on the stage is not the same Blippi kids are used to seeing in their videos. The Blippi tour will feature an actor playing the beloved character.
Blippi is a character created by Stevin John. John created the character several years ago and portrays him in a series of videos on YouTube.But when families go see Blippi live, John isn't going to be there. Another actor will be playing the orange spectacled, suspender-wearing guy in the bowtie. And parents are pretty upset about it.
“I’m livid,” mom Dana Oliver tells Buzzfeed. “I’m trying to get a refund.” Oliver purchased three 6th row tickets and meet and greet passes for the live show in Toronto. She spent $400.
Parents experiencing outrage about not seeing Stevin John's Blippi have learned a lesson about reading the fine print. The website for the tour actually states that you'll be seeing an actor and not John live on the stage. However, a Facebook post on the official Blippi page did not make it explicitly clear that John would not be playing Blippi on tour.
"Blippi is as a character and I'm the creative force behind it, but since YouTube is a monster and all of these platforms are really crazy I can't go on the road for many weeks or months at a time," Stevin John explained to Billboard.
Despite John stating in the Billboard announcement that he won't be playing Blippi on stage, the information in other places is hard to find. And that's what is making the parents most angry. Especially since they're paying a lot of money for tickets and meet and greet passes. Ticketmaster, the company selling the tickets for the show, has warnings on some show dates but not all.
“Ticketmaster didn’t seem to have any info about it being an actor on their website. The info is buried on the bottom of the FAQ page on Blippi’s website," Angelina Sakowski, a mom who spent over $100 on tickets for the New Jersey show tells Buzzfeed.
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To all my awesome fans… Stevin here. Together with the team behind the live show I wanted to apologize if there was confusion about my presence at the live show. We never meant for that to happen. We understand how much happiness this character brings to children and their families. All we wanted to do was to bring this happiness to as many children and families as possible in a live show. We tried to make it clear that I would not be the character at the live show (via Billboard Exclusive Interview + FAQ on BlippiLive.com) but I’m sorry it seems that wasn’t enough. We have adjusted and continue to make it even more apparent that it’s not going to be me on stage. I will be the creative force behind the live show, as a producer, a writer, and also I am personally casting the live theater performer to play the character on stage. I have no doubt that the show is going to be amazing! I am tremendously grateful to all of my loyal fans and I hope they will still attend the live show. We do issue refunds to those who decide against going after all. On a final personal note, the most amazing part of the Blippi journey has always been educating and entertaining children around the world. I try to learn how to do a better job of that each and every day. This experience has allowed me to realize how I can continue to improve on this. This community of Blippi fans means the world to me and I very much value all of your feelings and feedback. Thank you very much!
Ticketmaster told Buzzfeed they'd issue refunds upon request.
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