Live Nation Entertainment, the global concert giant that owns Ticketmaster, has launched a new microsite detailing its "Ticket Relief Plan" for offering refunds or credit for shows that have been canceled or postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Beginning May 1, ticket holders will automatically receive a refund for canceled events. If the event was at a Live Nation venue, you have 30 days to opt in to a 150% credit for use on future tickets.
Tickets will automatically be valid for the new date, unless you opt for a refund within 30 days of the new show date being announced. If you have tickets to a show that is postponed, you will be able to select your refund option once the new date is announced. If 60 days has passed since a show was postponed and no rescheduled dates have been announced, the 30-day window for refunds will open at that time. Notification emails to ticket holders will begin May 1.
According to Variety, the program is specific to North America. Many countries across Europe have provided a one-year window for obtaining ticket refunds.
Ticketmaster previously said in a statement that it "intends to honor our longstanding practice of allowing refunds on canceled or postponed shows."
AEG Presents, StubHub and others have launched similar refund policies.
Ticketmaster has reportedly canceled or postponed 30,000 events, totaling $2 billion in ticket sales. There are currently another 25,000 events still scheduled to take place through the end of 2020.
Last month, S&P Global indicated that it was considering a serious downgrade of Live Nation after taking on about $3.3 billion in long-term debt last year. "While the extent and duration of the impact on the live events industry are uncertain, we believe Live Nation Entertainment Inc.'s operating performance could be hurt by the growing number of postponed events, lower-than-expected attendance, or any future cancellations," S&P Global said.
There is little indication as to when we might get the coronavirus under control to the extent that public gatherings and normal business can resume. Even some of the more conservative estimates say certain areas may be locked down until the end of the summer and possibly into the fall.
In early April, Dr. Ezekiel "Zeke" Emanuel, one of the key architects of the Affordable Care Act and a special adviser to the director general of the World Health Organization, told The New York Times that he doesn't anticipate it to be safe to return to concerts, sporting events and other mass public gatherings for another 18 months.