Ticketmaster, which had been under fire for revising its refund policy during the COVID-19 pandemic when some fans most need those refunds, is now assuring the public it “intends to honor our longstanding practice of allowing refunds on canceled or postponed shows.”
The note also predicts many more events will be impacted in the weeks and months to come.
Ticketmaster posted a lengthy message from its president, Jared Smith, on its website that reads in part: “As the entire world continues to navigate the impact of COVID-19, tens of thousands of live events around the globe have been canceled or are being rescheduled. Fans are understandably frustrated and confused.
“Let me start by assuring you that Ticketmaster, with the support of our clients, intends to honor our longstanding practice of allowing refunds on canceled or postponed shows.”
But the statement also explained that Ticketmaster cannot immediately pay refunds. Event organizers sell tickets directly to consumers on Ticketmaster’s site. Ticketmaster collects the money and sends it to organizers weekly. It has already sent more than $2 billion to organizers of the 30,000 events postponed or canceled due to COVID-19, making it “impossible,” the statement said, to issue refunds before recouping sales.
“To be clear, Ticketmaster intends to refund as many tickets as possible in as timely a fashion as is feasible,” the statement continued. “We are working every day towards that goal. ... Let me reiterate: neither our clients, nor Ticketmaster, intend to withhold refunds on postponed shows.”
Two of the country’s largest concert producers, Live Nation Entertainment and AEG Live, both of which sell tickets through Ticketmaster, have said they will begin to provide refunds for all events impacted by COVID-19.
Ticketmaster is owned by Live Nation. Both Live Nation and AEG Presents have offices in St. Louis.
AEG said refund requests will be honored for any postponed show once the rescheduled date has been announced. Ticketholders will then have 30 days to request a refund.
“For shows that have already announced a rescheduled date, you will receive an email from the ticketing company starting on May 1 with instructions on how to refund your tickets,” AEG said. “You will have 30 days from the time the email is sent to you to request your refund. Tickets purchased after the rescheduled date has been announced will not be eligible for this refund.”
AEG asked fans to hold onto tickets to shows that haven’t yet announced new dates. Original tickets will remain valid for new dates.
Live Nation is reportedly going live with its “Rock When You’re Ready” program of options for fans holding tickets to shows affected by the pandemic.
“Our venues across North America will be offering loyal fans a variety of Concert Cash credits to put towards future ticket purchases,” Live Nation said. “For canceled shows, fans can choose to receive up to 150% of their ticket value as Concert Cash, and for rescheduled shows they will receive Concert Cash once they attend the new date. Those looking for ways to give back can opt to donate their tickets to health care workers through Live Nation’s expanded Hero Nation program.”
Live Nation events in St. Louis include postponed shows such as Billie Eilish, Rage Against the Machine, and Pearl Jam at Enterprise Center and Kesha at St. Louis Music Park, and rescheduled shows such as Luke Bryan and Sam Hunt at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre.
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