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What happens when a concert is cancelled?

Published 27 February 2017 by

It can be heart-breaking if you were really looking forward to a concert by your favourite band or singer, only for them to cancel last minute. And it’s not just the disappointment you have to put up with but you’re also stuck with the tickets you paid for, meaning you’re now out of pocket.

But does it really need to be this way? Can you get your money back when the organisers cancel or reschedule a concert? Let’s take a look what happens with your tickets and whether you’ll get a refund.

Can you get the money back?

If the organisers of the gig or concert cancel and you bought tickets through an official seller, don’t panic – you will be able to get a refund. The same is true if they move it to a different date and you can’t go anymore.

The organisers or the ticket company should give you this money back automatically – it usually goes straight onto the card you bought the tickets with. If you don’t get a refund, it might be worth looking on the organisers’ website – you might have to claim the money back yourself.

You’ll only get the face value cost of the ticket back, and sometimes the booking fees as well. The face value is how much the ticket costs before the seller adds any transaction or delivery fees.

But if you bought your tickets through a second-hand ticket site, you might find it harder to get your money back. This is because someone already bought the tickets and you then bought them from them – and it’s the original buyer who can get a refund. You’ve then got to rely on them to pass the money on.

Trustworthy second-hand ticket sites will usually have policies for dealing with this so make sure you check this out before you buy. And remember, if you paid over the odds to a second-hand seller because tickets to a concert sold out, you might not get all of this back. You’re only entitled to the face value of the ticket, not what you paid.

And if you’re struggling to get your money back because the ticket company has gone bump, you could get a refund through your card provider. You’ll have different protection depending on whether you paid with a debit card or a credit card – find out the difference between Section 75 and chargeback.

Have you got insurance?

You can’t usually get a refund if you can’t go to a gig for any reason or if you just don’t want to go anymore. So if you’ve come down with the flu on the day or your friend can’t make it, you probably can’t get your money back for your tickets.

That’s why if you’re buying tickets to a really expensive event – like a high-profile act or a festival – it might be worth adding event ticket insurance. Most official ticket sellers offer this for a couple of quid and it means if you can’t go to the concert for any reason, you can get your money back.

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