Concert Giant AEG To Offer Fans Limited Window For Refunds

April 16, 2020

According to The New York Times, music promoter AEG Presents will offer ticket holders a 30-day window to get refunds on events that have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The window begins May 1 and will be available only for ticketholders whose shows have been postponed and rescheduled; if a show has just been "postponed" with no new date, ticket holders will get 30 days to request a refund once the new date has been announced.

Live Nation, the world's largest live-entertainment company and AEG's chief competitor, has promised an arrangement similar to AEG Presents' in the coming days.

"Live Nation's plan is to continue offering an opportunity for refunds on all of its rescheduled shows as new dates are set," the company said in a statement, according to Variety. "We anticipate those windows will begin to open up on an event by event basis in the next few weeks."

In recent days, ticketing company Ticketmaster has faced backlash from consumers seeking refunds for postponed live events. But according to Joe Berchtold, president of Live Nation, which owns Ticketmaster, there is a simple reason you can't get a refund from Ticketmaster for a postponed concert.

"I think there's a lot of misperception about Ticketmaster," Berchtold said Tuesday on CNBC's "Squawk Alley". "Ticketmaster doesn't sell these tickets and sit on a mountain of cash. Ticketmaster sells tickets and gives the cash over to the venues where the events are held."

Berchtold went on to say that he is optimistic about the touring industry's health once the pandemic has subsided.

"A year from now, 15 months from now, as we have the vaccine in place, we're highly confident that concerts in 2021, 2022, will be bigger than ever," he said. "The artists want to perform, the fans want to attend the shows. We're very comfortable and confident that as we get through this, we'll be able to get back to the normal of being able to go to the shows."

Last month, most of the largest live-entertainment agencies and promoters — including AEG, CAA, ICM, Live Nation, Paradigm and UTA — banded together to form a task force to strategize and coordinate a unified response to the spread of coronavirus and its growing impact on the touring business.

Shares of Live Nation closed up 6.5% on Tuesday, but are down more than 40% since January, according to CNBC.

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