January 10, 2018 Sean Burns
Vancouver judge Paul J. Pearlman ruled against a request by Ticketfly to recover millions of dollars from the trustee overseeing Pemberton Music Festival’s bankruptcy, making it very unlikely that fans will ever receive refunds for their ticket purchases, according to Dave Brooks at Amplify Magazine.
Pemberton was one of the high profile events that went belly-up in 2017, as the British Columbia festival suddenly announced it would not be happening in May, two months before Chance the Rapper, Muse, and A Tribe Called Quest were scheduled to headline the festival from July 13-16. Occuring shortly after the similarly explosive failure of the Fyre Festival, WME’s Marc Geiger called the bankruptcy “fraud, pure and simple,” and added that “the only difference between Pemberton and Fyre is that Pemberton sold their event with trees instead of supermodels.”
At the time, those who had purchased tickets were stunned to see the message announcing the festival’s bankruptcy when they visited its website.
The 2017 PEMBERTON MUSIC FESTIVAL IS CANCELLED.
The 2017 Pemberton Music Festival scheduled for July 13–16, 2017 is cancelled. It will not proceed as scheduled. The Trustee will issue formal notice of the bankruptcy proceeding to all known creditors of PMF within 5 days of its appointment.”
Unfortunately there are no automatic refunds from PMF. As PMF is now in bankruptcy, it has no ability to provide refunds for tickets purchased. However ticketholders may file a proof of claim form as an unsecured creditor with EYI in accordance with the claims process.
Ticketfly had been attempting to recoup some of the millions it had paid festival promoters for the ticketing concession before the event went kaput, but the judge presiding decided that it hadn’t prove its misconduct claims against the festival’s investors, and therefore didn’t have any right to the $3.3 million that had been earned from ticket sales in 2017.
By declining to hand the remaining funds over to Ticketfly, Vancouver judge Paul J. Pearlman made it very unlikely that fans who bought tickets will receive refunds, although earlier this year, Amplify learned that 80 percent of fans have gotten their money back through chargebacks to their credit cards. Fans who did not charge back their tickets can now apply for compensation as an unsecured creditor to what’s left of the Pemberton estate.
According to Amplify, Pandora will be on the hook for the millions which Ticketfly lost in the deal, as part of the sale agreement from when Eventbrite purchased the ticketing company from the internet radio operation.
“As part of the transaction between Pandora and Eventbrite, Pandora agreed to assume responsibility for any and all obligations of Ticketfly resulting from these bankruptcies, including the costs associated with the chargebacks paid by Ticketfly, and was assigned any recovery that Ticketfly may be entitled to in these bankruptcy proceedings,” Jeremy Liegl, the Assistant Secretary of Pandora, wrote in an Aug. 16 affidavit.