Concerts and what happens if you don’t like the music

3 min read
August 04, 2014

What happens if you go to a gig/musical/event and it is not what you expected or the event is cancelled or amended, find out your rights with this weeks blog

 Cancelled Gig Event  

Who do you complain to? 

If you have an issue with an event then you need to complain to the event organiser rather than the venue. It may be that the venue is also the event organiser, but usually the venue will have been rented specifically for the event.

The event was cancelled 

Did a member of the Society of Ticket Agent Retailers (STAR) sell you the ticket? If so there is a code of conduct that they need to follow. The guidelines were drawn up with the Office for Fair Trading to ensure the terms are not unfair to the consumer.
If an event is cancelled under the code they are required to refund the cost of the ticket. The booking fees and postage costs are not covered in the refund. Some organisers may refund these costs but it is not included in the STAR code.
If the tickets have not yet been sent to you when the event is cancelled, whilst it is not covered by the code, it is reasonable to ask that the postage costs be refunded, as the company has not yet incurred these costs. 

The event goes bust

If the event goes bust then what happens? Sadly if the event organiser or the firm that sold you the ticket goes bust then there is little that you can do, as there is no one to contact in order to apply for a refund.

The event is rescheduled

If the event is rescheduled then your rights are similar to that of a cancellation. If you cannot attend the event then you can apply for a refund, once again excluding the cost of postage and booking fees. 


What if the agent is not a member of STAR?

If the agent or your booking agent is not a member of STAR, then you should contact your local Trading Standards Office. The normal route will now be via the Citizens Advice Bureau who will raise the issue for you.

Travel costs 

The STAR code does not include refunding the cost of transport, hotels etc. These costs are your responsibility. I have previously covered how to handle refunds for train tickets. You can surrender these to the train company in order to obtain a refund.
For hotel bookings, any refund will depend on their terms and conditions if the booking is flexible. In the unlikely event that you have insurance, you may be able to reclaim using your policy.

The event starts late  

As well as event cancellation, there are also other issues that you could experience, such as the event starting much later than scheduled, meaning you might have to leave before the end of the event due to booked travel.
Put simply, you are not entitled to a refund as the event took place and therefore the contract was honoured. You can still apply for a refund or a partial refund, but the promoter is not legally bound to give you a refund. 

The headline act is changed 

What if the headline act that you are expecting to see is changed without any prior warning? Your rights will depend on the act and the event. If you are attending a music festival with lots of musical acts, then you will not be able to claim a refund. If the event was one act, which you specifically wanted to see, then it is reasonable to apply for a refund.

I cannot attend the event any longer 

If you can no longer attend the event you are not entitled to a refund. You can request a refund but it is very unlikely that you will receive one. The best course of action is to sell your tickets to friends, on Gumtree or eBay to try and recover your costs. For over booked events then you may be able to sell the tickets at a higher price than you actually paid.

What else can you do if the event is cancelled? 

If the event is cancelled what else can you do? If it is a local gig tell your friends by publishing on Facebook so as many people know as possible. You may also want to inform the local newspaper.

Share this:


Need to resolve an issue? Let's get this sorted.

No Comments