When is the band coming back?
Festivals and concerts: from demolition to short
A lot can go wrong at festivals and concerts: sometimes an artist is sick, sometimes a storm hits the site. Visitors want to resell their tickets or the tickets arrive too late in the mail. Again and again those affected describe their cases to the consumer advice center.
In some cases, you will not come to an agreement with the organizer straight away. After the demolition of Rock am Ring, one of the largest comparable festivals in the country, there was some uncertainty in the summer of 2016. The organizer initially saw no room for a partial reimbursement of the ticket price because the regulatory authority had withdrawn his license to play. The consumer association, however, saw it as a duty. Ultimately, the organizer reimbursed affected festival visitors for part of the ticket price under certain conditions.
So what applies in case of doubt if everything does not go smoothly around the event? Basically: The contracting party for concerts and festivals is usually the organizer (the agency that is on the menu), not the band or the advance booking office / online retailer. This means that this agency is often your most important point of contact.
Current information on Corona: Major events are to be canceled by the end of August 2020 - the Prime Minister and the Federal Government have jointly decided on this. Compulsory vouchers are also under discussion. We describe in a separate article which rights you have in times of the corona pandemic.
The youth portal Checked4You has collected some of the following cases.
1. The festival is canceled.
In our opinion, you are entitled to a partial reimbursement of the ticket price. Because: With the ticket purchase you have concluded a contract with the organizer. If the festival does not take place in full, you do not have to pay in full. In principle, this also applies in the event of storms or a revoked permit. The legal keyword here is the obligation to provide the event. The demolition of Rock am Ring in 2016 can be cited as an example.
If the organizer does not show himself to be "accommodating", you can therefore endeavor to repay a proportionate amount of the ticket price. Use this to contact the organizer himself.
How much you can ask depends on the individual case. In particular, the role of the unusual band and their contribution to the festival play a role here. The failure of the announced world-famous headliner should therefore be weighted more heavily than a rather unknown local band.
If the organizer is to blame for the failure, he may also have to compensate for any damage that you as a contractual partner (because the ticket buyer) incurred - e.g. the cost of a booked hotel room and travel expenses that have already been paid. In the event of a storm, this will usually not be the case.
2. The concert is canceled from the start, for example because the artist is sick.
Finally you have the tickets for your favorite band when it says in the morning in the newspaper that the concert will be canceled without replacement. Then it can make sense to first contact the advance booking office and find out about a possible refund of the ticket price.
Because: The organizers often transfer the reverse processing to the advance booking offices. If the concert doesn't take place, you should get your money back there if necessary. Otherwise only the contact with the organizer remains.
In our opinion, there is a fundamental right to a refund of the ticket price in such cases. In the event that the concert is canceled, the organizer does not meet his obligation to perform, regardless of whether the organizer is responsible for the cancellation or not.
Here, too, the following applies: If the organizer is to blame for the failure, further damage can also be compensated for.
3. The concert is postponed.
In principle, you do not have to postpone the concert. In our opinion, especially if you do not have time on the new date, you can return the ticket and reclaim the entry price and, if applicable, the advance booking fees and the shipping costs. However, the prerequisite is that an appointment has been made at all, i.e. the concert should take place on a specified date. Something else can therefore apply if z. B. the tickets were sold without an event date or only a certain period or even several alternative dates were given. However, if a date has been agreed, in our opinion it does not depend on the reason why the concert did not take place on the agreed original date or whether the organizer is to blame for this.
Even if the concert is postponed, it can be worthwhile first to contact the office where you bought the ticket. They will either refer you to the organizer or make the reimbursement themselves. Often times, as in the case of a canceled concert, the organizer will have delegated this task to the advance booking offices.
Any clauses in the terms and conditions that only allow the ticket to be returned in the event of a general cancellation of the concert are, in our opinion, ineffective.
4. The opening act is canceled without replacement.
Admittedly, that won't happen that often, but it's also not unthinkable: You don't want to see the actual artist, you want to see the opening act, and suddenly they don't come at all. If the opening act has been bindingly announced on posters and / or the admission ticket, then from a legal point of view it can become part of the contract for work that you have concluded with the organizer.
And if the contract is only partially respected, you can in principle claim back part of the money.
5. The program is changed or a replacement artist appears.
At a festival with many bands it is probably a nuisance, at a concert by a solo artist it is a mean catastrophe for fans: Instead of the announced band, someone else comes. In this case, you can usually subsequently reduce the ticket price, especially for individual concerts, or you can forego the concert and reclaim the entry price in full.
It also depends on how decisive and interchangeable the role of the unusual artist is. The failure of a solo artist is more likely to entitle to reimbursement claims than the absence of a background singer. In the context of festivals lasting several days, the exchange of individual bands, especially if there are no headliners, will be more acceptable.
6. The tickets purchased arrive too late.
Cards ordered over the Internet or by telephone are sent by post and can be unexpectedly delayed. Then it might not be too late! Call the advance booking office immediately and request delivery by courier. Perhaps a list with your name can also be deposited at the box office.
In our opinion, you don't have to pay for the card on a regular basis if it arrives after the event (call a postman or someone else as a witness). If you have already paid, you can claim your money back.
7. You have lost your entry ticket.
The organizer is not obliged to issue you with a new ticket if you lose it. Nevertheless, it cannot hurt to contact the advance booking office / ticket dealer independently and ask for a replacement ticket as a goodwill gesture.
In the case of electronic tickets, it may be possible to print them out again via the respective customer account of the ticket retailer or to have the e-mail with the file sent to you again.
8. The entry ticket is damaged.
The tickets arrived weeks before the event, first landed in your pocket - and now the control section has already passed: Usually this is not a drama. You should take both parts of the card with you and explain the mishap at the entrance yourself.
9. The concert starts too late.
The menu says "Doors open at 7 p.m., start at 8 p.m.", but everyone is still standing in front of the hall at half past eight or the band can only be seen on stage around midnight? You shouldn't have to wait much longer than an hour for the stars. If it happens anyway, you should either try to return the admission ticket (= money back) or later reclaim part of the admission price from the organizer (keep the admission ticket as evidence, note the names of witnesses!).
If, in an individual case, you were only able to watch a five-hour concert for an hour because of a long delay and then left, you can claim 4/5 of the ticket price from the organizer as a reduction.
10. The concert is too short.
That should have happened before: The world-famous band comes on stage, the singer makes a noticeably ill-tempered impression and the whole group has disappeared after 15 minutes. Even if there are no general guidelines for the minimum duration of a concert, you don't have to put up with something like that. In such blatant cases or in the event of deviations from a contractually agreed playing time, you should contact the organizer and claim back part of the entry price.
Serious organizers can usually also give information in advance by telephone about how long the group or artist will be playing. In addition, information on the playing time and corresponding set lists from previous concerts can often be found on the Internet, e.g. in fan forums.
11. There are problems with the entrance control.
The organizer is obliged to ensure the safety of the guests during the concert. He often hires security services to do this. They can do a lot, but not everything. If the admission ticket says that you are not allowed to take bags or groceries with you, then you have to hand these things in at the entrance. But: You have to get it back undamaged (the can of beer as well as the camera).
If something breaks, you can regularly claim damages from the organizer. You can hardly do anything against body searches, but you can at least insist on same-sex personnel.
If there is no food ban on the admission ticket, the organizer does not inform you about this, and if there are no security interests (e.g. risk of injury from glass bottles), nobody should really prevent you from taking a bread roll or a plastic bottle with soda into the open-air area . If in doubt, however, you should inform yourself beforehand from the organizer and leave the relevant items at home.
If the security guards refuse you entry without violating the event conditions, you are entitled to a reimbursement of the entry price and, in individual cases, further claims for damages.
12. You're late.
Anyone arriving late for the event does not have the right to be admitted immediately. The staff can definitely wait for a suitable time and then let you into the concert hall, for example. You are then not entitled to a reduction in the entry price.
13. The booked space is no longer available.
If you have to forego your booked, covered seat because it is otherwise occupied, and there are only uncovered standing room available, there is a lot to suggest that you can ask for the full entry price back.
If you only get a seat in a lower category than the one you booked, you can at least reduce it.
14. Recording devices are often prohibited.
If the organizer prohibits filming and photography during the concert, you must accept this. The organizer's house rules and the artist's copyrights justify such a ban. Therefore, if in doubt, inquire beforehand whether you can make appropriate recordings and publish them on YouTube, for example.
Moving mobile phones and digital cameras in at the entrance should only be lawful if it is 100% guaranteed that you will get your property back undamaged afterwards.
15. You want to give away / sell the tickets.
Anyone who has bought an admission ticket for themselves but is then unable to go to the event may in principle give it away or sell it, at least as long as the ticket is not personalized and the resale is private.
It gets more difficult with tickets that have the name of the visitor on them. This means that other people cannot go through the admission control in case of doubt. You should therefore inquire beforehand with the organizer whether the card can be rewritten.
16. The organizer is insolvent.
As long as the concert or festival is taking place, visitors are not entitled to a refund of the ticket price. However, if the event does not take place due to bankruptcy, in our opinion there is a fundamental right to a refund of the ticket price.
If insolvency proceedings have been (provisionally) opened, contact the insolvency administrator. You should register your repayment claim with the insolvency administrator within the deadline set by the bankruptcy court (between 2 weeks and 3 months). Information about the opening, the procedure, the insolvency administrator and the deadlines can be obtained from the competent bankruptcy court, i.e. usually the local court at the organiser's place of business.
The insolvency administrator then clarifies whether and to what extent the creditors are satisfied from the bankruptcy estate. In principle, creditors will receive money in equal proportions on a quota basis. Depending on the extent of the insolvency, this can mean that you will no longer receive the entire ticket price or, in the worst case, no refund at all.
Therefore, it is best to follow social media and news beforehand in order to be able to anticipate possible bankruptcies before buying tickets. Even if an event is to take place, we advise against buying tickets after bankruptcy proceedings have opened.
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