Fans stuck with tickets to postponed concerts will finally have a recourse from Ticketmaster — but it won't last for long.
Live Nation, which owns Ticketmaster, announced a plan over the weekend to allow refunds during a 30-day window, which starts May 1 for concerts that have already been rescheduled due to the coronavirus. For shows still in scheduling limbo, the refund period will begin once new dates are announced.
An industry insider told the Star Tribune there was a "massive breakdown in communication and accounting" among promoters and venues that was preventing artists from offering refunds.
Live Nation announced the plan after facing widespread criticism for rewording refund policies on Ticketmaster's website last month and denying refunds to nearly all of its concerts, except for tours that outright canceled with no plans of rescheduling. Live Nation's largest competitor, AEG Presents, had already announced a similar 30-day window plan for its concerts.
Both companies will offer incentives for fans to avoid giving them back their money: For shows that are canceled, credit worth up to 150% of the original ticket value can be used for future tickets. They will also offer smaller credit amounts for fans seeking refunds to rescheduled concerts, which will vary from tour to tour.
Before Live Nation's plan was announced, two Democratic members of Congress called on the companies to start refunding fans.
"With Americans weathering the brutal and continuing impacts of this global crisis, your decision to confiscate their money is reprehensible and should be reversed immediately," Reps. Katie Porter, of California, and Bill Pascrell of New Jersey, wrote in a letter Friday addressed to Ticketmaster and Live Nation.
In the Twin Cities, some of the biggest concerts that will allow refunds starting May 1 based on these new guidelines will include the Eagles, Jason Aldean, Dan + Shay and the Lumineers, all of which already have confirmed makeup dates. Fans who still want to attend those shows will not need to take any action.
Local concerts still due to be rescheduled — and thus, refunds are also still on hold — include Kenny Chesney, Roger Waters, Rage Against the Machine, Justin Bieber, Camila Cabello and the 1975. Only the Rolling Stones are offering refunds even without a makeup date.
There are still many big concerts on the books for June and July in the Twin Cities without any announced change in plans, including Guns N' Roses at Target Field, and Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard at U.S. Bank Stadium, Elton John's two-night stand and other Xcel Energy Center dates with Journey, the Weeknd and Halsey.