Published Apr 13, 2020The coronavirus pandemic has halted live music and large events for the time being — potentially until late 2021 — leaving plenty money tied up in tickets and festival passes. Now, some concertgoers have taken issue with Ticketmaster moving to make those funds harder to recoup.
Digital Music News points out that the ticketing giant has changed its refund policy to only cover events that have been cancelled outright, effectively excluding concerts or events that have been postponed or rescheduled.
Screenshots the site captured of Ticketmaster's Refunds & Exchanges page show that the company's policy had been changed from "Refunds are available if your event is postponed, rescheduled, or canceled."
Addressing the effects of COVID-19 in a statement published March 12, Ticketmaster wrote that "as always, canceled events are automatically refunded," adding that it continues to "receive updates from artists, teams and show organizers on their postponed and rescheduled events, as well as their individual refund policies" as the pandemic progresses.
"If an event organizer is offering refunds for postponed or rescheduled events, a refund link will appear on your Ticketmaster account," the statement reads. "Otherwise, you are encouraged to periodically check back online to see if the status of their event has changed."
Fans affected by the policy change have taken to venting their frustration on social media. "All the concerts I bought tickets for have been 'postponed,'" one ticketholder wrote on Twitter. "How about you just refund us for our purchase? Nobody knows their future right now."
Last week, an American concertgoer filed a lawsuit against StubHub after the company revealed it would not be offering refunds for events cancelled due to the coronavirus, instead offering vouchers for 120 percent of the tickets' purchase price.
Not unlike Ticketmaster, StubHub was also thoroughly grilled for the decision by concertgoers on social media. In a statement published March 31, the company wrote, "It is currently impossible for us to offer immediate cash refunds to all buyers."
Today, Ticketmaster's parent company Live Nation announced that CEO Michael Rapino and top-earning executives would take a pay cut in an effort to ease financial strain.
Last year, Ticketmaster was ordered to to pay $4.5 million over misleading ticket prices by Canada's Competition Bureau.
Follow Exclaim!'s list of music and film events affected by coronavirus.