More and more festivals across the U.S. are beginning to pull the plug amid concerns over the growing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. However, some events are refusing fans refunds.
Over the weekend, this year’s SXSW Festival and Ultra Music Festival were cancelled and “postponed” to 2021. Coachella and Stagecoach were next to break the news- postponing the events to October of this year. Now, organizers of SXSW and Ultra are refusing refunds to thousands of ticket buyers, pointing to its terms and conditions.
“Any and all payments made to SXSW are not refundable for any reason, including, without limitation, failure to use Credentials due to illness, acts of God, travel-related problems, acts of terrorism, loss of employment and/or duplicate purchases,” SXSW’s original terms and conditions states.
While festivalgoers won’t be able to receive refunds, a spokesperson told Page Six that they will be honoring tickets for future festivals.
“We are allowing registrants to defer for up to three years – through the 2023 event,” the spokesperson said. “We are also working on other ways to add value to their deferred registration so not only will they be able to take advantage of a future SXSW but there will be extra benefits included, as well.”
Similarly, Ultra ticketholders will not be receiving a refund in light of the festival’s postponement. According to the Miami Herald, ticketholders received an email that said they have 30 days to choose if they would like their tickets to be honored at the 2021 or 2022 edition of the festival. They’re also reportedly working on a “digital online Ultra experience as soon as possible.”
Ultra ticketholders will also receive a special “Benefits” package in either 2021 or 2022, which includes an exclusive only DJ set ahead of gates opening, one free ticket to any non-Miami Ultra worldwide, or Resistance events in 2021 or 2022, a discount code for official merchandise, and other incentives.
The festival’s terms and conditions note that the “organizer may, in its sole and absolute discretion elect to either, (a) issue Purchaser a full or partial refund, (b) postpone the Event for a future date and/or (c) offer Purchaser a comparable ‘make good.'”
Coachella and Stagecoach, which have now been rescheduled to weekends in October, will honor ticketholders’ tickets at the rescheduled date. Those who are unable to attend, however, will receive news regarding refunds in the coming days, organizers said.
Coronavirus has been spreading rapidly across the globe, infecting 120,000 and causing 4,300 deaths worldwide. It’s officially been dubbed a pandemic in the United States as several large-scale events have been cancelled including music tours, sports games, Ivy League NCAA Conference Tournament, the Paribas Open, and more.
See the ongoing list of cancelled concerts and festivals due to coronavirus here.