What are my rights if a gig or event is cancelled or rescheduled?

2 min read
June 19, 2020

If a gig, event or anything where you have purchased a ticket or paid to attend is cancelled you are entitled to a full refund of the face value of the ticket. Usually, the promoter or event organiser will refund you on the card you paid with if the event is called off completely. For many people, the gig or event will be rescheduled – often to the same day next year.

While this gives many of us something to look forward to, what if you can’t attend, or you have lingering concerns about the safety around these events in the coming months? If you can’t go – you should be entitled to a full refund too – but make sure you explain the situation to the seller. If you simply don’t want to go, then you may find it more of a problem to get your money back.  

Ticket refunds and section 75

As we’re repeatedly advising these days, where cancellation refunds aren’t coming through your bank or card provider may be able to ‘charge back’ the money. You may have to sign a waiver to show you’re not breaching a contract by doing this.

If you paid more than £100 on a credit card and bought the ticket(s) directly from an agent – not through a third party – then you may also be able to make a claim under what’s known as section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. This is a legal right you have to claim the money back from your card provider.

Ticket resale

Ticket resale agencies bring further problems. Most are offering refunds for tickets to cancelled events, but it’s worth checking their terms and conditions.

But I’ve heard reports that some people are not being given refunds but vouchers to spend onsite, or are being told to resell the tickets.

I disagree with this – and one avenue is to ask the agency to speak to the original ticket seller who will need to reclaim the face value refund, then get the ticket resale agency to send you the money. 

In a similar way to the travel industry, ticket sellers have faced an onslaught of calls and demands for refunds. Rather than making their policies clear on their websites, which would drastically reduce calls, they’ve not been very clear. And the public, when not given reassurance, will undoubtedly decide not to take any chances. So in some ways, this problem has become self-fulfilling.

The industry’s trade body, Star, says that while there’s no specified timescales for refunds, prior to the pandemic it would expect businesses to refund as soon as a gig was cancelled without rescheduling. However, a business may only be able to do this now if it has money itself, as opposed to having to recall it from a promoter. Star adds that long delays without information are not acceptable. 

One other thing to bear in mind is that it’s likely that some businesses will go under. When a firm goes bust, you lose your cash. If you’re struggling to get a refund, speak to your bank or card provider and ask if they can ‘charge back’ the money from the organiser. Under section 75, you may also be able to make a claim to your credit card provider if the business does go under and you paid over £100 on your credit card.

If you’re not getting the information you need from your ticket seller, or you’re struggling to get that refund, use Resolver to raise a complaint for free.

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