Events in Japan, the US and France are the latest to fall foul to coronavirus, while promoters and agents in the UK and Germany repeat intention to carry on as usual
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The UK ticketing industry body has urged ticketholders not to request refunds, as associations across Europe ask for alternative modes of compensation
By Anna Grace on 19 Mar 2020
The Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers has asked ticketholders to be “patient and kind” as ticket agencies process refunds and exchanges following sweeping event cancellations across the UK.
As the UK government advises the public to avoid gatherings of any size, events are being rescheduled or called off around the country as iconic venues including the O2 Arena, the Royal Albert Hall and Alexandra Palace close their doors until further notice.
UK ticketing industry body STAR is urging customers to avoid “flooding contact centres with calls and emails” and rather wait for ticketsellers to contact them regarding ticket exchanges or refunds.
“Rest assured, our members are working as hard as they can to resolve your issues,” saysd STAR chief executive Jonathan Brown. “They are very busy also dealing with their own measures to care for their staff and run their businesses.
“Please be patient and kind as box offices, ticket agents and other ticket sellers are committed to helping you during this extremely difficult period”
“Please be patient and kind as box offices, ticket agents and other ticketsellers are committed to helping you during this extremely difficult period.”
The Dutch culture minister Ingrid van Engelshoven (pictured) issued similar advice yesterday (18 March), calling on customers not to request refunds and encouraging them to accept alternative compensation offers, such as vouchers.
“We as a society can only overcome a crisis like this if we also show some solidarity and look after each other,” the minister told Dutch newspaper NRC. “If everyone is going to ask for their tickets back at the same time, that is asking a little too much of the sector.”
The option for ticket sellers to offer customers a voucher instead of a cash refund has been put forward by industry associations including Germany’s BDKV and Spain’s Esmúsica. BDKV has also asked for an extension to the time within which a refund must be paid, along with UK Music and the Colisium International Music Forum, which represents promoters in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
Photo: Frank Jansen/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0) (cropped)
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