UK charity group Music Venue Trust has launched a new campaign to help save grassroots venues, while Live Nation announces its new refund policy.

Live Nation

Live Nation has revised its refund policy following a barrage of complaints about denied refunds for events that have been postponed with no new dates.

Under its new Ticket Relief Plan, ticketholders for events that have been postponed will be able to receive a refund after 60 days from the time their postponement was announced. They will then have 30 days to ask to be reimbursed.

Previously, fans could only claim a refund if their event was cancelled or postponed with a new date set, leaving thousands of people out of pocket and waiting for new dates. Ticketholders with rescheduled events have 30 days to request refunds, starting May 1.

The entertainment giant has also launched a voucher system that offers 150% of the value of the ticket for future use, with Live Nation to donate the original tickets to healthcare workers.

Michael Rapino, chief executive of Live Nation announced the new Ticket Relief Plan in a tweet: “Fans, we hear you. We don’t want you to be waiting in limbo while shows are being rescheduled. Thanks to your feedback, Live Nation has revised our refund policy. If new dates aren’t set in 60 days, you’ll be able to get a refund at that time.”

SeatGeek

SeatGeek is being sued for allegedly changing its ‘buyer guarantee’ that promised a full cash refund if an event is cancelled and not rescheduled.

The ticketholder, William Trader, claims in the suit that the policy was prominently advertised on SeatGeek’s website and in their marketing before retroactively changing the terms.

After Trader purchased two tickets to a Dead & Company concert in Chicago, the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the suit alleges the complainant was refused a refund.

Trader’s lawyer, Nicholas Coulson, said in the Manhattan federal filing: “In the midst of the greatest public health and economic crisis in living memory, defendant has sought to surreptitiously shift its losses onto its innocent customers, furthering the financial hardship endured by people across the country.”

MVT

Music Venue Trust (MVT) has launched a new campaign #saveourvenues to raise money and awareness for the more than 500 grassroots venues under economic threat due to COVID-19.

The charitable organisation, which was founded to help improve, maintain, and organise music venues in the UK, has already raised over £182,000 via its Grassroots Music Venues (GMV) Crisis Fund, via donations from Amazon Music and promoter SJM, among others.

As part of the launch of the new campaign, the Crisis Fund will be renamed the #saveourvenues fund and will form part of a wider initiative that will see artists raising money for individual venues with whom they have a personal connection.

Mark Davyd, chief executive of MVT, said: “We cannot stress enough how critical it is that the music industry supports the #saveourvenues campaign as without them over 500 of the UK’s Grassroots Music Venues could go out of business, never to return, in the coming months. Please help us.”

Artists are being encouraged to choose a venue that is currently in crisis from an interactive map and dropdown menu, which can be found on the campaign website.

Artists will then be given the tools and guidance to perform an ‘at home’ gig in support of that particular venue. Each venue will have their own crowdfunding page with a clear target of the funds it needs to raise to stay afloat throughout this difficult period. Once a target is reached any excess revenue will go to the central #saveourvenues fund to help the wider grassroots music venue community.

Frank Turner, a UK singer-songwriter and MVT patron, has already helped to rescue Tunbridge Wells Forum from closure through a recent series of ‘Independent Venue Love’ shows. He raised thousands of pounds for the 250-capacity venue, as well as supporting Nambucca (London), The Joiners (Southampton), and the Railway Inn (Winchester).

Turner said: “The UK live music industry is staring into the abyss right now. I’m not able to save the whole thing on my own, but I decided to do a series of livestream shows to raise money for specific independent venues that I know and love, and that are in serious risk of disappearing right now.”

Davyd added: “Frank Turner’s amazing initiative proved that together artists and music fans can go a long way to helping at-risk Grassroots Music Venues get through this period of lockdown. We are building on his good work with the #saveourvenues campaign and are confident that we can help create real momentum that will see artists and venues working together to raise much needed funds.

“We are also calling on the wider music industry to support us too. We have received some magnificent support so far from music companies, but we need a lot more to step up and help save this essential part of the music eco-system.”

British Grand Prix

Fans of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone have been offered the option of rolling their tickets over to the 2021 event or taking a full refund after it was announced today (Monday) the event would go ahead without fans due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

F1 is yet to begin its 2020 season due to the COVID-19 outbreak and has been forced to either postpone or cancel numerous events. F1 chief executive Chase Carey is hopeful of beginning the season on July 3 and is confident that between 15 and 18 races can be completed.

It is hoped the Austrian Grand Prix will be the first race of the season, taking place from July 3-5. Further European races, including the British Grand Prix, would then be held through July, August and the beginning of September, before the series heads to Eurasia, Asia and the Americas, finishing with events in Bahrain and the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Ticketholders for the British GP will be contacted in the next two weeks with full details on how to transfer their ticket or request a refund.

Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle also announced that Silverstone intends to give away thousands of tickets for the 2021 event to NHS staff and other key workers.