Refunding Event Tickets During COVID-19

Will you receive a refund or a new ticket if the event is rescheduled?

Everyone is doing their part to avoid nonessential gatherings, including concerts, sports games, festivals, tours, and more. But, you may be wondering what happened to the money you put towards those tickets. Will you receive a refund, a new ticket when the event is rescheduled, or none of the above? Here are the steps you can take to find out where your money’s gone and whether you can receive a refund.

STEP 1: Postponed, Cancelled or Unclear

Visit the ticket seller’s website to check whether your event was cancelled or postponed. Policies around ticket refunds vary, depending on the site. For some, like Ticketmaster, a banner on the homepage will direct you to “Find the Status of your Event” where you can see whether your event was cancelled and if you will automatically receive a refund. Other companies, like Eventbrite, will ask that you fill out a Refund Request Form to determine whether you qualify. 

Important Update: LiveNation, owner of Ticketmaster, recently announced ticket holders will automatically receive a refund for cancelled events. If your show is at a Live Nation venue, you will have 30 days to opt in to receiving your refund as a 150% credit towards future tickets. For rescheduled shows, your ticket will automatically be valid for the new date, unless you request a refund within 30 days after the new show date is announced. Notification emails to ticket holders will begin May 1. If your show is postponed, you will be able to select your refund option once the new date is announced. If 60 days has passed since a show was postponed and no rescheduled dates have been announced, the 30-day window for refunds will open at that time. 

If you’re unclear on whether you qualify for a refund, move on to Step 2

STEP 2: Review Policy

Review your vendor’s COVID-19 refund policy. If your event was never officially cancelled by the organizer or has been rescheduled, some vendors are claiming that they will not issue refunds, since the ticket is valid for a later date. These policies take advantage of consumers during this pandemic and put the burden on individuals or small events. To know what you’re dealing with, you should review the updated COVID-19 policy for the site where you purchased your ticket. Here are the policies for a few of the top vendors.

  1. Live Nation
  2. Eventbrite
  3. StubHub
  4. SeatGeek
STEP 3: Get your Money Back

Reach out to the organizer directly. If your event hasn’t been cancelled, and your ticket vendor or reseller is deferring refund responsibility, you should reach out to individual venues directly. Especially for small, local events, they may be easier to get in touch with and could be more likely to issue a full refund. Some companies, like Eventbrite are providing specific instructions on how to contact event organizers. 

Prepare your information. Before contacting anyone, make sure to have all necessary information available, including your confirmation number, the account you used to purchase the ticket, and your prepared reason for cancelling and requesting a refund.

Speak up. If you’re unhappy with how your ticket seller handled your refund during this pandemic, you should make your voice heard. By tagging the appropriate company in a social media post or contacting the vendor directly, you can help encourage a policy adjustment. As an important note, remember that whether you’re speaking with a customer service representative or an independent event organizer, they are also dealing with the complications that come from this pandemic. Treat them with respect and kindness, regardless of the outcome of your request.