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Portugal to ban festivals until 30 September

The Portuguese cabinet has reiterated that vouchers are a valid form of fan compensation as it proposes that no festivals or large shows are to take place until 30 Sept

By IQ on 11 May 2020

The 2020 edition of Nos Alive Portugal was unable to take place due to restrictions

NOS Alive 2020 has a line-up including Kendrick Lamar, the Strokes and Billie Eilish

image © NOS Alive/Facebook

Under the Portguese cabinet’s stabilisation plan, festivals and shows “of a similar nature” will not be permitted until October 2020 and organisers will not be obliged to offer fans a cash refund for cancelled events.

The plan, which needs approval from the Portuguese parliament before becoming law, offers some clarity to promoters in the country, many of whom were awaiting an official declaration before deciding the fate of their 2020 events.

Festivals including NOS Alive, Paredes de Coura, Meo Sudoeste, Super Bock Super Rock and EDP Vilar de Mouros have acknowledged the government’s decision and state they are waiting for parliament to approve the measures before announcing how they will proceed.

Organisers of NOS Primavera Sound Porto, which had moved to early September in an attempt to avoid virus-related restrictions, made a similar announcement, adding that: “It seemed like a good idea, when we decided to celebrate Primavera in summer, we did it because we believed that in September we would be living in safer times.

“This new scenario does not allow us to celebrate what we wanted most. We continue to work hard so that, in 2021, we can celebrate more than NOS Primavera Sound.”

A number of organisers, including those of Rock in Rio Lisbon and North Music Festival, have already pulled their 2020 events, rescheduling for next year.

“When we decided to celebrate Primavera in summer, we did it because we believed that in September we would be living in safer times”

Under the government guidelines, organisers of festivals and other events scheduled for between 28 February and 30 September 2020 which were unable to take place due to the Covid-19 outbreak, can offer ticketholders a voucher of equal price to the original ticket.

This “guarantees the rights of the consumers”, reads the government document.

However, organisers of Afro Nation, which was due to host its second outing from 1 to 3 July, received criticism from some fans on social media upon announcing that they will not be issuing refunds for Afro Nation 2020.

“According to the new Portuguese law, your ticket will be automatically transferred to the new date,” reads a statement from organisers.

“Should you wish not to transfer to 2021, you will have the opportunity to sell your ticket via our primary ticket provider Festicket. Afro Nation will delay putting any tickets on sale in order to give ticket holders as much time as possible to resell tickets if that is what you choose to do.

“Your provider will be in touch today via email with further details on how to transfer to 2021 and how to resell your ticket via Festicket.”

Voucher schemes, which are designed to keep cash-strapped event organisers afloat during the coronavirus crisis, are in place in countries including Greece, Germany, Italy, Poland and Brazil.


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