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The Argentine festival is set to go ahead despite the country's ban on international tourists but refuses to reimburse those who can't attend
By IQ on 20 Oct 2020
Global Eclipse is refusing to refund ticket holders for its Patagonia Gathering festival in December, even though authorities are currently refusing to let international tourists into Argentina due to Covid.
Organisers of the Argentine EDM festival are refusing to provide refunds on the grounds that the festival has not been cancelled, despite there being no way for the vast majority of ticket holders to attend on 14 December.
Instead of full refunds, the organisers have offered a “buyback” program, whereby customers are able to receive 50% of their ticket price, along with the cost of any accommodation and parking passes, in exchange for signing a legal document that will “release [the organisers] from liability in regards to [the] Patagonia Gathering”.
According to Guardian Australia, the organisers sent an email to ticket holders stating: “We’ve had requests to ‘refund the money’ but it’s not possible to retrieve sunk costs for labour, and niche physical assets are not easy to sell in the downtrodden Argentine economy.
“Humans are social beings. Isolation has taken a toll on all of us. We are meant to connect and we are meant to gather. We plan to do it safely in the best way possible.
“We are producers with decades of experience who are 2.5 years into a three-year project and we’ve learned to prepare for permutations of earth, wind, and fire but none of us had ‘global pandemic’ on our 2020 bingo card.”
“It’s not possible to retrieve sunk costs for labour, and niche physical assets are not easy to sell in the Argentine economy”
The company noted in another email that ticket sales were “final, no refund passes for a rain or shine event”.
The event has been in the works for three years, with many fans purchasing tickets before Covid-19, and is due to take place near the small town of Las Coloradas, which is four hours from the nearest major city.
Despite the fact the country is nearing one million Covid-19 cases, on 26 August, after months of silence from organisers, they announced that the Patagonian party would go ahead.
However, with only two months to go, the line-up for the festival is yet to be announced, raising concerns about organisers’ transparency.
Argentina has enforced one of the longest and strictest lockdowns in the world, with regular internal flights set to resume for the first time since March this week. Social gatherings have been periodically banned, and a huge number of major events cancelled in order to curb the virus’s spread.
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