This is where the distinction between cancellation and postponement becomes clear: The 2020 Ultra Music Festival, one of the world’s largest dance-music events, was “postponed” last week after city officials expressed concern about the spread of coronavirus.
While the festival will not take place in 2020, the postponement means that instead of paying refunds to ticketholders, organizers are offering replacement tickets for the 2021 or 2022 events in Miami, according to an email obtained by the Miami Herald. The replacement ticket also comes with a list of benefits that include discount codes for merchandise and tickets.
Reps for the festival did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment.
The Herald noted that Miami’s Bayfront Park, where Ultra 2020 was to take place, has not yet been contractually secured for future installments of the festival.
“ALL tickets purchased will of course remain valid and will be honored at either the 2021 or 2022 Ultra Miami event, at your option,” read an email issued by the festival late Monday. “You will have 30 days to choose which Ultra Miami event you want to attend. Additionally, we are also working to offer a digital online Ultra experience as soon as possible.” The festival also offered elements that “add value” to tickets that are apparently nonrefundable, including discounted upgrades, tickets to other Ultra events and half off of up to $250 in merchandise.
“Even though the situation is completely beyond our control, we are fully engaged, pushing forward to go above and beyond for you,” the notice reads. “In seeing that commitment through, we have worked around the clock to assemble an extraordinary added value package for you.”
The word “cancellation” did not appear in any official notices about the festival not happening in 2020. The official statement passed the buck for the decision to an official directive from the city of Miami in its effort to curb any coronavirus spread — an important point when it comes to insurance and other purposes, as a story in Variety yesterday pointed out.
“We want to emphasize that this decision is not a cause for alarm or signal to panic,” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said at a Friday morning news conference. “Rather, we are doing this out of an abundance of caution.”