Live events sector
The Spanish city of Seville has fined Live Nation 15,000 euros over the way it handled refunds in relation to an AC/DC concert in May 2016. Readers will remember the ‘Rock or Bust’ tour was interrupted and then substantially re-arranged when vocalist Brian Johnson was forced to pull out of live shows after being warned that he risked “total hearing loss” – and he was replaced by Guns ‘n’ Roses frontman Axl Rose.
Those who had brought tickets for the show were offered the option of a refund if they didn’t want to attend the rearranged date with Rose. However, according to Spanish consumer rights group Facua, Live Nation then set a deadline on refund applications within a three day window, so many consumers wishing to cancel their tickets could not do so. At the time many fans were appalled at Rose being even suggested as a replacement, although Rose went on to get good reviews for his performances from fans and critics alike, and he turned up on time for shows.
In its formal complaint to Seville’s Economy And Commerce Department, Facua said that whilst Live Nation didn’t initially set a deadline for refund applications, it then changed this and gave three days notice for the deadline, which included a Sunday and a bank holiday.
The consumer rights body added that Live Nation was obliged to offer refunds under local laws that say promoters must provide the option to customers where a show is “substantially changed” after ticket go on sale – here a new lead singer – and Rose had to perform sitting down, with his broken foot in a cast.
The consumer group voiced its disappointment that authorities in Catalonia declined to take similar action.