Are Concert Organizers Giving Ticket Refunds?

In the last week, both Live Nation and AEG — the two biggest live-entertainment companies, in that order — announced refund-related procedures for fans in possession of now-unusable concert tickets. Understandably, people have questions.

Can I get a refund for my canceled concert? 
AEG is automatically refunding patrons for canceled concerts — meaning that they wouldn’t have to do anything other than wait for their money to reappear. The same can be said for AXS, another popular live-entertainment company.

If the show you were planning to attend was being put on by Live Nation, you still have to request a refund — yes, even if it was canceled. According to a statement acquired by Rolling Stone, Live Nation is offering full refunds, but their venues are also offering credit for future ticket purchases through a new program called Rock When You’re Ready. In this scenario — assuming a fan doesn’t want a refund and still plans on putting that money toward a concert — once the bans on mass gatherings are lifted, patrons will be able to receive up to 150 percent of their ticket value in “concert cash” (So, if fans spent $200 on tickets, they would receive $300 in credit.) On the other hand, if they would rather take a charitable route, patrons can donate their tickets via Live Nation’s Hero Nation program. These options become available on May 1st. At that point, patrons have 30 days following cancelation to select their choice.

As of now, it’s not clear how long the refunds will take to be fully processed by either Live Nation or AEG. On AXS’ website, though, a Help Center page states that “if your event is cancelled, we’ll automatically refund the credit card used for purchase (usually within 30 business days of the cancellation announcement).” The page reminds patrons who bought their tickets at the venue’s box office to “please take the tickets directly to the box office for a refund.”

Can I get a refund for my postponed concert?  
Also starting May 1st, AEG will give patrons 30 days to request a full refund to shows that have already been rescheduled with solidified dates. Tickets for shows that have been postponed — but do not yet have publicly confirmed replacement dates — will not be eligible for refunds until new dates are announced. “For shows that have already announced a rescheduled date, you will receive an email from the ticketing company starting on May 1st with instructions on how to refund your tickets,” reads a statement acquired by Rolling Stone. “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.… If your show hasn’t announced a new date yet, please hold on to your tickets. 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.”

Patrons of Live Nation have the same 30-day window of time to request a full refund to rescheduled shows that have new dates. However, Live Nation is also presenting people in this scenario the opportunity to use their Rock When You’re Ready program’s “concert cash” credit. So, patrons can either get a refund for a rescheduled show, simply use their original ticket to attend a rescheduled show, or they can turn the price of that ticket into credit to be used toward any future ticket purchases at any Live Nation venue in the U.S. and Canada. A Live Nation representative also told Rolling Stone, “If a show is rescheduled and a fan attends the new date, [the company will] give them $15 or $20 (depending on venue) in Live Nation Concert Cash for every ticket used. So if they use four tickets, they would get $80 in credit.”

It does not appear that AXS is offering refunds for postponed or rescheduled shows. The company’s typical policy states that “if your event was rescheduled, your tickets will still be good for the new date. Simply arrive at the venue at the new date and time, and use your tickets to enter. You’ll receive the new event date by email, and you can also search for the event on AXS.com to see the latest info.” When Rolling Stone reached out to see if exceptions have been made due to COVID-19, a representative did not immediately reply.

When will concerts actually return?
Plenty of shows that were supposed to occur in the springtime have already rescheduled and announced summer and fall dates. While it is theoretically possible that these rescheduled shows will take place, it is highly unlikely. According to one epidemiologist who spoke to Rolling Stone for a recently published story on the matter, larger festivals and concerts won’t be a safe option until 90 percent of the population is immunized, which likely won’t happen until summer 2021. Several other health professionals and government officials voiced similar concerns in the piece, which also points out: “Just because we get through this shelter-in-place doesn’t mean everything’s magically back to normal.”

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