View Full Version : Can you get refunded for a partial concert?

Little Nemo
04-25-2011, 10:17 PM
My nieces are having their sixteenth birthday this week. My sister was taking them and some friends to a concert. The concert was supposed to last overnight (from around 10pm to 6am).

However, apparently some idiots in the audience started setting off the fire alarms. After this happened several time and warnings weren't stopping it, the concert was ended early (around 1am). My sister picked the kids up and drove them home.

Is she entitled to some kind of reimbursment? They paid for tickets to an eight-hour show and only got a three-hour show. Presumedly there were acts that never appeared on stage. Does it matter than the concert started? Does it matter that it was apparently an audience member that caused it to be stopped?

bahia hombre
04-25-2011, 10:48 PM
Where did they get the tickets? Is it possible to find out who the promoter was and call them to ask about a refund? I would say they would have been responsible for security, including what happened with the fire alarms. You might also be able to take it up with the venue management. Most of all, the local fire chief should crack some skulls...inciting panic in a crowded concert hall is a very dangerous thing to do.

04-25-2011, 11:13 PM
The promoter had to pay all the acts, whether they played or not, and had to pay for the hall and the wages of all the people who worked the concert. So it is not as if they benefited from the concert lasting less than the full promised time.

04-26-2011, 02:53 AM
Several years ago, the Black Crowes played a concert locally that ended prematurely (after ONE song, to be exact). I didn't go, but the girl I was dating at the time did, as a birthday gift to her little brother.

They got their money back. I don't know if the duration of the concert factored into that, though.

There was also a time that NKOTB's Donnie Wahlberg got arrested for allegedly trying to burn down a local hotel, though I can't remember if that concert was cancelled.

I know that, usually, when a concert's cancelled ahead of time, you can get a refund on the ticket price, or some sort of compensation such as having that ticket honored at the make-up show (assuming the concert gets rescheduled). But I don't know with 100% certainty about a show that gets cut short.

Jim's Son
04-26-2011, 04:40 AM
Back in the 1980s John Cougar Mellencamp played a show in Madison Square Garden that was plagued by bad audio. After he realized it (about 20 minutes in) he and the band went off stage to get the technicians to fix it. When they did after another 20 minutes, Mellencamp announced that anyone who wanted a refund could get one from the Garden and went on to play a full show anyways. Made a fan for life out of me.

As for your problem, you could try. But they may have some legal language protecting them. I remember people saying a few years ago they got burned by a rainout of the US tennis open at Forest Hills that lasted long enough one day so they couldn't get a refund.

04-26-2011, 07:51 AM
I don't think there are any hard-and-fast rules here. Some venues and promoters will do all they can to restore the good will of their customers, while others will take a "we already got your money, so screw you" attitude. Short of taking them to court (and who wants to do that?) there's probably not much you can do about the latter. But go ahead and make some calls, write some e-mails, and you might be able to swing the needle toward the former.

phantom lamb
04-26-2011, 08:41 AM
This happened to me too but there was nothing we could do.

We arrived hours before the show, the doors opened right before it started, and they frisked everyone before letting them in. The frisking took ages, people going in one by one, the concert eventually started, while hundreds remained outside in line waiting to be let in. We missed a significant part of the show through no fault of our own.

Horrible organzing on their part but there was no way to get compensated.

Considering in your scenario that it was audience members that fucked it up, it seems even less likely anyone's complaints will be taken into consideration (worth a shot though?).

04-26-2011, 10:01 AM
If you paid by credit card, dispute the charge. You may not win, but it still cost the disputed party a bit of money, even if, in the end, they win

04-26-2011, 10:06 AM
Look at the ticket (or the receipt that came with). Does it have any disclaimers?

04-26-2011, 01:27 PM
Years ago in Berlin, my SO dragged me to go see Shirley Bassey in concert.
Shirley is known for being quite the diva and supposedly will show up at a concert and then demand more money at the last minute to actually go out on stage to perform - at least that was the story back then.
Well, she came out, did three songs and then claimed to have a problem with her voice and the show was canceled.
We didn't get money back, but got a voucher for her next concert in about 6 months.

Fast forward to six months later - we had to pay 50 % EXTRA to get tickets again (on top of that voucher) and sure enough, that bitch ended the concert after about 6 songs claiming she wasn't feeling well. This time, there was no voucher for the cancellation.

So we wound up paying full price, then another half price, for two concerts that had a total of 9 songs.

Ever since then, I refer to her as Shirley Bastard.

Lynn Bodoni
04-26-2011, 06:58 PM
I just read about a cruise that was supposed to have the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders on it. Apparently, there were a few people who bought tickets, only to find out that the cheerleaders had decided not to go on the cruise. They only got a $200 refund, which was supposedly the difference between a regular cruise and a cheerleader cruise. The thing was, most of them had only bought the tickets because of the cheerleaders, they hadn't wanted a cruise at all.

04-26-2011, 07:23 PM
Earlier this year I went to see Sting's Symphonicity tour in an amphitheatre in the Melbourne Royal Botanical Gardens, and they had clearly allowed too many people to buy tickets. There was a clear "you are meant to sit here" area that was completely full in a cone at the front of the amphitheatre, but they also opened up seating on the sides, where there was no view of the stage (thanks to the "shell" that covered the stage and a bit of the area in front of the stage) and we could only hear a faint murmur of the sound. There were some tipsy, angry older people who kept screaming "Turn it up!", I thought there was going to be a baby boomer riot!

Shortly after the belligerent yelling began, the event managers set up speakers at the back of the audience sitting in the "you are meant to sit here" area, but the speakers just interfered with the sound coming from the stage so it almost perfectly cancelled out all the sound those of us on the sides could hear. Most people on the sides (including me) left before intermission and gave our ticket stubs to the event managers; we got full refunds automatically credited to us. I was surprised we didn't have to do anything at all, not even call Ticketmaster - the money just appeared refunded to our credit card.

It is possible that the same thing will happen for your concert. I'd suggest calling your ticket broker/the venue and asking about it, because even though the audience was the cause of the problems in your nieces' case, the event management really should have had a way to handle a disruptive audience without cancelling the whole show.

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