Facing Backlash, Ticketmaster to Offer Refunds on Some Postponed, Canceled Events

The concert and live event ticketing giant clarified its policy after weeks of complaints from ticket-holders demanding refunds for postponed shows.

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Ticketmaster, under pressure from fans, watchdogs, and some in Congress, updated its website early Friday, offering concertgoers options for events that have been put off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Event organizers are making more events available for refund – and some have new credit options too,” Ticketmaster said in a blog post. "We have listened closely to your questions and concerns about events, refunds and more."

Many frustrated concertgoers thought their concerts were canceled because of COVID-19 and believed they were due a refund. In fact, most events have been merely "postponed" — leaving fans’ money in limbo.

Friday's post clarifies the lingo, lays out the process, and provides a pathway by which people might get their money back. What consumers will get varies based on the status of the concert. Ticketmaster has broken the terms into three categories:

  • Postponed events;
  • Rescheduled events;
  • Canceled events. 
NBC Bay Area created this flow chart to hep us - and you - understand Ticketmaster's policies. Click here for a full-size version.

Postponed Concerts

According to Ticketmaster, a concert is considered "postponed" when the event organizer is still working to determine whether the event will be rescheduled or canceled. In this case, ticket holders must wait.  

“When the event organizer cancels or reschedules the event, we’ll follow up with an additional email letting you know the new status and whether the event organizer is offering options for refunds or the alternatives of a refund or credit,” Ticketmaster said.

It was not clear whether promoters or organizers could indefinitely postpone a concert or event. We are awaiting clarification from Ticketmaster on this point.

Rescheduled Concerts

When an event is rescheduled, Ticketmaster says your tickets are “still valid for the new date and no further action is required.”

If that new date doesn’t work for you, you will have options — and a deadline to work around. 

“In many cases event organizers will provide you the option to request a refund, or they may be offering you the option to choose a refund or a credit,” Ticketmaster said. "We will send you a notification email as soon as the event organizer updates the status of the event.”

At that point, you will be provided a deadline to act. Ticketmaster said the deadline will be either:

  • 30 days from when you received your notification email, or
  • Up until two weeks prior to the rescheduled date.

If you chose a concert credit, there are important restrictions to be aware of. 

Ticketmaster says credits“may be applied towards the purchase of tickets for eligible events at the same venue after July 15, 2020.”

The credit is not valid forever. It will expire on October 31, 2022, Ticketmaster said. 

Canceled Concerts

Ticketmaster says it is fully refunding tickets for concerts that will not occur and are officially cancelled. 

“We will automatically refund your ticket order amount (except UPS fees) to the method of payment used for purchase in as soon as 30 days,” Ticketmaster said. “In some cases, event organizers may also give you the option to choose a credit.”

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