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Germany introduces ticket voucher scheme

The German government has confirmed corona-hit event organisers will be able to offer credit vouchers as an alternative to cash refunds

By IQ on 08 Apr 2020

The German voucher scheme is "pure consumer protection", says ticketing giant Eventim

The voucher scheme is "pure consumer protection", says ticketing giant Eventim

image © Bundesregierung/Stutterheim

The government of Germany confirmed today (8 April) it will allow promoters to offer customers credit instead of refunds for cancelled events, becoming the latest country to introduce a voucher scheme to shield its live sector from the financial impact of the coronavirus.

A news release from the German federal government explains: “According to existing laws, holders of tickets can request reimbursement of the entry and service fees they have already paid. [However], many operators currently have no new income. If they had to reimburse fees for all canceled events at short notice, the existence of many of them would be threatened. A voucher solution, therefore, could be of great help.”

“A wave of bankruptcy would also likely mean that claims for reimbursement could no longer be made,” adds the announcement.

“A wave of bankruptcy would mean that claims for reimbursement could no longer be made”

As reported by IQ on Friday, Germany was one of a number of European states considering legislating in favour of ticket vouchers and/or an extended refund grace period – measures which have already been introduced in countries such as Italy and Poland.

For all tickets purchased before March 8, fans who wish to receive credit in lieu of a cash refund (refunds will still be available for those who need them due to their “personal situations”) will receive a voucher that expires at the end of 2021. If the voucher is not redeemed by that date, the organiser of the event must refund its value.

Bremen-based CTS Eventim, Europe’s biggest ticket seller, welcomes the introduction of a voucher scheme, saying the move represents a lifeline to the corona-hit German live music industry.

“The voucher solution… gives promoters the vital liquidity they need to continue operating”

“We welcome the initiative of the federal cabinet to enact a voucher scheme for cultural, concert, sports and leisure events,” says the company’s CEO, Klaus-Peter Schulenberg. “Culture is systemically essential, and the bill proposed today by the government supplements the current contract law governing events with urgently needed provisions to mitigate the financial impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic for promoters, and thus for the entire cultural sector in Germany.

“The resolution is a very important step towards preserving cultural diversity in Germany. The voucher solution is pure consumer protection at the same time, because it gives promoters the vital liquidity they need to continue operating as going concerns during and beyond the coronavirus crisis. Consumers are thus protected from what would otherwise be unavoidable losses due to insolvency.”


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