Did you fork over big money for a concert ticket, only to have the show or festival canceled because of the COVID-19 crisis? You’re not the only one.
Billboard estimates that consumers spent nearly $3.5 billion on tickets in the U.S. for concerts and festivals this summer, and now that virtually no concerts or festivals are going to happen until at least June (or more likely not til 2021), fans are wondering what happens to the big money they forked over for live music.
Below, find out everything you need to know about securing a refund for your concert or festival ticket.
Whether your event was canceled or postponed, legitimate promoters and event producers will offer fans a refund for the tickets they purchased if the show doesn’t take place at the time and location originally listed on the ticket. In normal times, this is standard practice, but the mass cancellation of events because of the COVID-19 crisis has forced some promoters to cancel hundreds, if not thousands, of concerts at once. That has delayed some fans seeking refunds, but in most cases, information about refunds and exchanges should be emailed to fans.
As a fan, it’s your right to receive your money back (plus any fees you paid) if a concert is canceled or rescheduled to a date you can’t attend. Some promoters will argue that fans waived their right to a refund when they bought the tickets, but often local or state law supersedes whatever legal wording fans had to agree to in order to buy tickets. Fans also can contact their credit card companies about reversing charges for tickets for events that were canceled or postponed, but that comes with its own challenges.
Also, you have more options than just receiving a refund or accepting a new date for the event. Many companies are offering fans a chance to receive 120-150% credits for future purchase instead of refunds, while others are offering gift cards or matching donations to charity. This information should all be laid out in email communications from the ticketing company or event producer, so make sure you read the fine print.
IF YOU BOUGHT TICKETS THROUGH TICKETMASTER: It’s important to check to see if the event you bought tickets for was canceled or postponed.
Ticketmaster will refund the full cost of tickets plus fees for all canceled shows sold on its platform. Refunds will be automatically paid to the original buyer’s method of payment used at time of purchase. Fans should expect to receive a refund no more than 30 days after an event is canceled.
For postponed shows promoted by Live Nation and AEG Presents, fans will begin receiving emails from Ticketmaster starting May 1 for most rescheduled shows between March and June showing both the rescheduled date and information about receiving a refund. For Live Nation shows, fans will have an option to receive credit for canceled and postponed shows through the Rock When You Are Ready program, which offers fans an option to receive a 150% credit for the value of their tickets to be used for a future Live Nation show. Fans will also be able to donate the proceeds of their refund to a charity to give concert tickets to health care workers through the Hero Nation program with Live Nation matching ticket donations.
Many Live Nation and AEG events, including more touring arena shows, have been postponed but have yet to be rescheduled. In many cases, promoters can’t reschedule arena shows until new schedules are released by the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League. Refunds for postponed shows aren’t available until new dates have been announced.
If the concert or event is being promoted or organized by a third-party promoter (other than Live Nation or AEG), the decision to offer refunds for postponed shows will be left up to the promoter. In some cases, fans will not be offered refunds for postponed shows. Click here to check the status of your event.
IF YOU BOUGHT TICKETS THROUGH AXS: First, determine if the event you bought tickets for was canceled or postponed. If you don’t know, check your email. All fans who purchased tickets to concerts ticketed by AXS will receive an email regarding any event changes or cancellations.
If an event is canceled, AXS will automatically refund the payment method used for purchase within 30 business days of the cancellation announcement. If an event promoted by Live Nation or AEG Presents has been rescheduled, fans will have a chance to receive a refund for any postponed show, once the rescheduled date has been announced. Ticket-holders will then have 30 days to request a refund on all rescheduled shows.
If a new date has not yet been rescheduled, fans should hold on to their tickets. An email notification when the show is rescheduled will include refund information. Fans will have 30 days to apply for the refund. If fans opt not to receive a refund for a rescheduled show, the original tickets will remain valid for the new date.
For non-Live Nation or AEG events, AXS will email fans with information once a show has been rescheduled with new dates.
Once an event is rescheduled for a new date and time, you don’t have to do anything; your tickets will still be valid. We’ll email you if your event is postponed or rescheduled, and you can also search for the event on the site or app to see the latest event status. The decision to offer refunds for postponed shows will be left up to the promoter. In some cases, fans will not be offered refunds for postponed shows. Click here to check the status of your event.
IF YOU BOUGHT TICKETS THROUGH EVENTBRITE: First, visit the website of the venue hosting the show or the festival you planned to attend. You can find information about contacting the event organizer here.
If an event is canceled by the organizer, the entire purchase — the ticket price and any Eventbrite fees — should be refunded. If an event is postponed by the organizer, Eventbrite suggests connecting with the organizer directly to address questions about rescheduled dates, possible refunds or event details. Event organizers are expected to respond within one week (two business days if you paid using PayPal).
If fans want to request a refund directly from Eventbrite, click here for instructions on refunds.
IF YOU BOUGHT TICKETS THROUGH FRONTGATE: Check their website to see how event organizers and festival planners are handling postponements and refunds for their events. All concerts held by C3 Presents (Stubb’s, Emo’s, Scoot Inn) for the months of March and April have been postponed or canceled. Please stay tuned to your email for more information on the status of your concert.
All tickets purchased for events that were canceled will be refunded. Check here for updates.
POSTPONED EVENTS NOT OFFERING REFUNDS OR STILL TO BE DETERMINED
20/20 Summer Fest: Rescheduled for July 2021. Tickets will be honored for next year’s date. Please refer to your email for additional information.
Austin Food + Wine: Rescheduled to Nov. 13-15, 2020. Refunds currently not available for this event.
Beach Life: Rescheduled, dates to be determined. Stay tuned to the BeachLife website for more information.
Bonnaroo: Rescheduled for Sept. 24-27, 2020. Refunds currently not available for this event. Please refer to bonnaroo.com/news for information about reselling tickets on Lyte.
JMBLYA: Rescheduled to the fall, new dates to be determined. Please stay tuned to jmblya.com for updates.
National Cannabis Festival: Rescheduled to Sept. 19, 2020. Tickets honored for new date. If you wish to request a refund, please visit nationalcannabisfestival.com.
Rolling Loud Miami: Rescheduled for Feb 12-14, 2021. Please stay tuned to rollingloud.com for updates regarding ticketing options. All purchased tickets will be honored for the rescheduled dates.
Shaky Knees: Rescheduled for Oct. 16-18, 2020. Refunds currently not available for this event.
POSTPONED EVENTS OFFERING REFUNDS
BottleRock Napa Valley: Rescheduled to Oct. 2-4, 2020. For ticketing inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Broccoli City: Rescheduled to Oct. 4, 2020. Stay tuned to bcfestival.com for more information.
Dreamville 2020: Rescheduled for Aug. 29. Tickets will be honored for new date. If you wish to request a refund, please fill out the refund form here.
EDC Las Vegas: Rescheduled to Oct 2-4, 2020. Visit lasvegas.electricdaisycarnival.com for information about ticketing options.
Excision Presents Rumble: Rescheduled, new date to be determined. For a refund, visit excision.ca.
Maceo Plex presents M³: Maceo Plex, Maetrik (Live), Mariel Ito: Tickets will be honored for new date, yet to be determined. Refunds approved on request.
Something in the Water: Postponed until April 2021. 2020 tickets will be honored for the 2021 dates. Refunds available through May 18, 2020
Tortuga: Rescheduled for Oct. 2-4, 2020. Refunds currently not available for this event.
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has been moved to Oct. 9-11 and 16-18. Fans wanting a refund need to fill out this form by June 1. Once refunded, orders cannot be reinstated. Refunds will take up to 30 days to process.
“After weeks of discussions, input and direction from state and local authorities, and with a full focus on the safety of our community, we have made the decision to look ahead and reunite in 2021,” organizers wrote on their website. The festival is offering refunds to fans who can’t attend in 2021. Visit electricforestfestival.com
Author: Dave Brooks