Live Nation Spain has been fined €15,000 ($16,200/£13,000) for failing to refund AC/DC fans angry that Axl Rose was controversially selected to front the band.
The city of Seville implemented the levy following a complaint by Spanish consumer group Facua over the band’s 2015-16 tour. Guns ‘N’ Roses frontman Rose stepped in as the lead singer for AC/DC midway through the schedule after long-serving vocalist Brian Johnson suddenly retired.
Facua alleged that Live Nation Spain withheld refunds and successfully argued the promoter breached Andalusian law by closing the refund window after just three days and supposedly ignoring some ticketholders’ requests for reimbursements.
Facua also complained to authorities in Catalonia, which is home to Live Nation Spain’s offices.
According to Facua, refunds become valid if concert conditions are substantially changed. Not only was AC/DC’s lead vocalist replaced, but Rose also had to perform sitting down, with his broken foot in a cast.
Article 23.1 of Andalusia’s performance regulations specifies concertgoers are entitled to a full refund “when the public spectacle or recreational activity is suspended, postponed or substantially amended”, and provide for fines of up to €30,000 for violations.
IQ Magazine reports Facua said that Live Nation previously promised to “refund the money of those who asked for it” without specifying a deadline.
“Facua announced the company’s commitment on 26 April,” it said in a statement. “But, overwhelmed by the requests, the promoter informed the association by email on May 1 (a Sunday and public holiday, so Monday was also not workable in much of the country) that the deadline for processing returns closed on day three – an unexpected decision that [left] a multitude of users surprised and without any room for manoeuvre”.
Facua also said several customers were told: “We regret to inform you that we have stopped serving the requests for reimbursement”, and that some “did not even get a response to their writing, despite having been submitted their requests before May 3”.