The live-concert industry has been trying to balance its own survival with customers' demands for immediate refunds for shows postponed during the COVID-19 crisis. Now Live Nation, the United States' biggest promoter, and AEG Presents, which dominates Colorado's concert schedule, have announced new plans for offering refunds for rescheduled concerts, which are slated to go into effect on May 1.
The announcements came shortly after New York State Senator James Skoufis asked his state's attorney general to open an investigation into Ticketmaster, Live Nation's ticketing company, after customers complained that they were being denied refunds for postponed concerts. StubHub, the secondary ticketing market, is also facing legal problems over how it has handled refunds.
According to AEG Presents, which books most Red Rocks Amphitheatre concerts and also the Mission Ballroom, 1STBANK Center, the Ogden, the Gothic, the Bluebird and other Denver venues, customers will receive emails about the postponed-concert refund policy starting on May 1, and will have thirty days from the time the email is sent to request refunds. Any tickets purchased after the new date will not be eligible for refunds. The policy will include concerts rescheduled in March and April because of COVID-19 concerns.
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"If your show hasn’t announced a new date yet, please hold on to your tickets," AEG says in its announcement. "You will be receiving an email notification from the ticketing company when the show is rescheduled, along with information on how to request a refund should you choose not to attend the rescheduled event. Note that if you wish to attend the rescheduled show, your original tickets will remain valid for the new date."
Billboard reports that the Live Nation and AEG policies mirror each other. While the two companies are rivals, they occasionally co-promote concerts at Red Rocks. In mid-March, they collaborated on the decision to cancel all major tours through April — days before shelter-at-home orders swept the nation.
In recent weeks, while major artists from Justin Bieber to Taylor Swift have canceled or rescheduled their entire 2020 tours, many smaller shows have remained in limbo...and cash-strapped customers have complained that they can't get immediate refunds for shows that have been postponed but are not rescheduled.
"We realize that a delay for refunds on shows that have yet to be rescheduled is an inconvenience, but this process enables us to provide refunds fairly, and hopefully without disruption," explains AEG. "We also know how frustrating it can be to wait for answers, so thanks for bearing with us. Stay well, stay safe, and we will see you all soon."