UPDATED: After a wave of criticism, Live Nation has revised its ticket-refund policies for events cancelled or postponed due to the coronarvirus pandemic.
“Fans, we hear you. We don’t want you to be waiting in limbo while shows are being rescheduled,” Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino tweeted Friday. “Thanks to your feedback, @LiveNation has revised our refund policy. If new dates aren’t set in 60 days, you’ll be able to get a refund at that time.”
Previously, the company offered a 30-day window for requesting refunds when a postponed show was given a new date — but not for thousands of shows that had no rescheduled date.
Under the revised policy, dubbed the Ticket Relief Plan, ticketholders for events without a new date will be able to request a refund after waiting 60 days from the time their postponement was announced; they will then have 30 days to ask for their money back.
The company had already given ticketholders 30 days to request refunds for shows that have already been rescheduled, starting May 1. Tickets for canceled events will be refunded automatically.
If the canceled show was scheduled to take place at a Live Nation-owned venue, the ticket holder could instead exchange their refund for a 150% credit to be used toward a future ticket purchase; Live Nation will donate the original tickets to healthcare workers.
Details of the refund program were announced April 17, on the heels of a similar program from AEG Presents, but were not posted until the afternoon of the 24th. They can be found at livenation.com/ticketrelief.
Ticketholders will be able to decide refund options via a direct email they will receive. The plan takes effect on May 1.
The program gives fans the option of receiving either a full refund (for which they must apply within 30 days of a show being canceled or new dates being finalized) or up to 150% of their ticket value as “Concert Cash”: for the latter option, Live Nation will donate tickets to healthcare through its “Hero Nation” program. The company will donate 1 ticket for every ticket the fan originally purchased.
The program is specific to North America (many countries across Europe have provided a one-year refund window).
The original announcement and conditions, bearing the program’s previous name “Rock When You’re Ready,” follows:
Live Nation will soon be rolling out Rock When You’re Ready, a full program of options for fans with tickets to shows that have been cancelled or rescheduled. Our venues across North America will be offering loyal fans a variety of Concert Cash credits to put towards future ticket purchases. For cancelled shows, fans can choose to receive up to 150% of their ticket value as Concert Cash, and for rescheduled shows they will receive Concert Cash once they attend the new date. Those looking for ways to give back can opt to donate their tickets to health care workers through Live Nation’s expanded Hero Nation program.
And anyone who needs or wants their money back will have the option to get a full refund within 30 days once a show has been canceled or new dates have been finalized. It takes an entire ecosystem to bring live events to life, and we appreciate the patience of fans as our teams work through the details of shifting these shows with artists, venues, and communities around the world. Exact offers will vary based on show and venue, and will be shared directly with ticketholders when they are available, beginning May 1.
As the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation or postponement of thousands of concerts, Live Nation and Ticketmaster came under fierce criticism for their slow response to fans’ requests for refund. Ticketmaster was also slammed for changing the language on its website about its refund process.
According to the New York Times, on Friday, two Democratic members of Congress — Bill Pascrell of New Jersey, who has slammed Ticketmaster and Live Nation over their policies, and Katie Porter of California — called on the companies to refund fans’ money.
“With Americans weathering the brutal and continuing impacts of this global crisis, your decision to confiscate their money is reprehensible and should be reversed immediately,” the Congressmen wrote in a letter to Live Nation and Ticketmaster officials.
As reported last week by Variety, the concert industry is facing a rough time ahead, with thousands of postponed shows and experts predicting at least an 18-month wait before health officials determine mass gatherings on an arena or stadium level are safe.