Finnish Music Fans Can Now Get Refunds for Disappointing Concerts

Finnish Music Fans Can Now Get Refunds for Disappointing Concerts
It's happened to all of us — you splurge on tickets for a concert, pack into a cramped venue with a bunch of other suckers and go home feeling bummed out when your favourite band lets you down. For concertgoers in Finland, however, there's now another option. When concerts are widely considered a disappointment, fans will now be able to ask for a refund.

The news comes from Finnish national broadcaste YLE [via BBC], who explain that the whole thing started when Chuck Berry played a fairly shitty concert in 2013. Berry was clearly ill during the concert, seeming fatigued and displaying flu-like symptoms. He even apologized to the audience during the show.

The Consumer Disputes Board ruled that the concert organizer should pay out half of the concert ticket price to attendees, setting a precedent for the new ruling.

Pauli Ståhlberg holds a doctorate in jurisprudence and deals with consumer disputes by trade. He explained that in addition to illness, lack of sobriety could also be a reason concertgoers demand their money back. Then again, it all boils down to the quality of the performance — perhaps lack of sobriety makes for a better show in some cases.

Ståhlberg also argued that festivals will have to be measured differently than individual concerts. "There are numerous different performers at a festival and so it have to be evaluated as a whole," he said. "Even the marching order affects perception of the overall quality. A failed performance by a featured star is a bigger deal for consumers than one by a warm-up band."

In Finland, the ruling will also have to come from a consensus opinion that the concert was a disappointment. "Anyone seeking a ruling like this is always spurred by a subjective opinion, but that's not enough to get a refund," Ståhlberg added. "What is significant is a generally agreed view that the concert was a failure, as it was in the Chuck Berry case."