Ticketmaster offers fans refunds for concerts postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic
The ticket retailer Ticketmaster is finalizing plans to issue refunds for up to 18,000 postponed events in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parent company Live Nation announced that refunds for those concerts, including stadium dates from Taylor Swift at the now-postponed opening of SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, will be open to fans requesting them starting May 1, for a 30-day period.
The postponements, which affect shows scheduled through July, represent a big swath of the 55,000 events currently listed on Ticketmaster for 2020. Future cancellations and postponements will be dealt with at a later date.
Epidemiologists and government officials agree that large-scale concerts and festivals can’t be safely held until 2021, a crushing blow.
Fans can also choose an option to exchange tickets for up to 150% of the face value through Ticketmaster’s credit system for future shows, or donate tickets to healthcare workers. The same terms will apply to Live Nation events and those from its rival firm AEG, after weeks of negotiations with talent agencies and sports leagues.
Ticketmaster has, so far, already canceled or postponed 30,000 events for 2020, totaling $2 billion in ticket revenue, and could see up to 25,000 more events affected this year.
Ticketmaster and Live Nation faced widespread criticism for not acting faster to get a plan for refunds in place, and attracted attention from Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) and their frequent foe Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.).
Porter told Billboard, in a statement, “People across the country are having to make adjustments in their lives to keep everyone safe. Ticketmaster can do its part by giving people their money back. Let’s be clear: they can do this without government action, and they can do it today. Ticketmaster should do the right thing and stop trying to profit off a pandemic.”
Live Nation, for its part, has also raised a $10 million support fund for crews affected by the cancellation, and top staff have taken deep salary cuts. The re-seller StubHub as also been hit with a class-action lawsuit over its handling of refunds during the pandemic.
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