Countless musical artists have had their prospects for making money completely devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, but obviously the real victim in all of this is the companies that make their money off of selling tickets and attaching gargantuan fees to those tickets (and also they probably provide some kind of useful service, but we don’t know). An artist can set up a Patreon, but who is going to give some poor little multi-billion dollar corporation $5 per month? People obviously didn’t take that into account when a backlash started to build against Ticketmaster earlier this month, with the company seemingly altering its refund policy to only explicitly allow customers to get their money back if an event is canceled, not if it’s postponed or rescheduled—which, arguably, could give the company an excuse for denying certain refund requests now that every live event in the country has been canceled for the foreseeable future.
Now, Ticketmaster has finally addressed how it will help customers who bought tickets to the thousands of events that were canceled this year, with Deadline reporting that the company is “finalizing plans to refund for as many as 18,000 events that were postponed or canceled” by the pandemic. Starting on May 1 and running for 30 days after that, customers can request a refund for postponed shows “through July,” with Billboard saying that refunds for canceled shows will happen automatically unless customers request their refund in a different format—specifically a 150% credit for a future show or as a donation to healthcare workers. (But it’s somewhat unclear if you’ll really be able to just get your money back that easily.)
Ticketmaster has also offered some explanations for why this took so long, saying that it works through so many other companies and venues and artists that it didn’t want to start putting out information without a more comprehensive idea of how a massive refund effort like this would work. Basically, Ticketmaster says it wanted to figure out a way to make this work as well as possible, and it will figure out how to deal with any post-July events later.