CINCINNATI -- As the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the country and around the world, many concerts and other live events have either been postponed or canceled all together with no rescheduled date in sight.
State governments have banned large public events and mass gatherings on the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says crowds can contribute to the spread of COVID-19.
As a result, fans who spent hundreds of dollars on shows are now in search of a refund or information on how to proceed if the show remains in limbo.
Here is how some major ticket sellers and platforms are handling coronavirus cancellations.
Live Nation, which promotes and manages ticket sales for many live entertainment events across the country, created a ticket refund plan in response to COVID-19 event cancellations.
If your event was canceled, you will be automatically refunded — or if your show was scheduled to be held at a Live Nation venue, you have 30 days to ask for a 150% credit to use toward buying future tickets.
If your event was rescheduled, 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,” Live Nation’s website reads. “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.”
Similarly, canceled events are automatically refunded, according to Ticketmaster’s website. If your event is rescheduled, Ticketmaster will contact you with updates. If an event organizer offers a refund for a postponed or rescheduled event, a refund link will appear on your Ticketmaster account online.
“For any canceled events, due to the unprecedented volume of cancellations, please note that you should expect to receive your refund in as soon as 30 days,” Ticketmaster’s website reads.
If your event was postponed or rescheduled and you are unable to attend, you can sell your tickets to other fans on Ticketmaster’s resale marketplace.
If the event is canceled and not rescheduled, you will receive a full refund or be issued a credit to be used for a future purchase “to be determined in SeatGeek’s sole discretion,” according to SeatGeek’s Buyer Guarantee section on its website. The company will notify you if a show is canceled and send instructions on how to obtain a refund or credit.
If an event is postponed, you can use the tickets on the rescheduled date. If replacement tickets are required for entry to the event on the rescheduled date, SeatGeek — which allows users to buy and sell tickets — says it will work to get replacement tickets for you.
If you can’t attend the rescheduled date, ticketholders can sell them on SeatGeek.
If your event is postponed, rescheduled or canceled outright, StubHub says there is no need to contact them. They will email you.
If an event is postponed, keep your tickets, which may be valid for the new event date. If your event is rescheduled, you can resell your tickets on StubHub if you can’t make the new date. If your event is canceled, StubHub says it will add a coupon worth 120% of your original order to your StubHub account.
“You can apply this coupon to one or multiple StubHub orders in the same currency until Dec. 31, 2021. Just choose the coupon at checkout when you order,” the ticket exchange company says on its website.
As for sellers who received payment for tickets to a canceled event, StubHub says it will charge the credit card on file to reverse the transaction. Sellers should contact the original ticket company for a ticket refund.
Many major sports leagues, including the MLB, MLS, NBA, NCAA and NHL, have postponed their seasons, and StubHub says it will contact fans as it has more details.
Vivid Seats, another online ticket marketplace, says if your event is canceled — you will automatically receive a 110% credit toward a future event. Another 10% will go to support the MusiCares Foundation, which aims to provide “a safety net of critical assistance for people within the music industry in times of need,” according to the company’s website.
If you want a full cash refund instead of the voucher option, customers should contact Vivid Seats’ customer service team within seven days of the cancellation.
As for when fans can expect concerts, sporting events and other larger gatherings to resume safely, the question remains unclear. Last month, one health expert predicted during a panel with the New York Times Magazine that it won’t be safe to return to until late 2021.