Concert goers experience refund chaos amidst COVID-19 struggles

Southern California rock band, Allah Las performing at the Observatory in Santa Ana prior to quarantine. (Connor Hedges/Lariat)

The music industry is one of several industries that has taken a major hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. With tours cancelled, artists, venues and promoters have been trying to stay afloat where they have improvised to get any extra money they can during this time. On the other hand, those who purchased tickets to concerts are still waiting on refunds.

The issue that many concert goers are facing is that promoters or venues aren’t giving the money back due to there being no word on if the concerts are being rescheduled to a later date, so a good amount of venues aren’t refunding the money back. On the other hand, if the concert was cancelled, then the venue is most likely giving a refund. Except the volume of those concert goers trying to get refunds for hundreds of concerts is insanely high, so the wait time is unknown at this point in time. 

Former Saddleback College student, Sean Hedges lucked out when he was able to receive his money back from a promoter who was holding a show in Joshua Tree. There was a delay in receiving an email back for the refund due to the volume of attendees the promoter had to deal with. 

“I was definitely glad I was able to get my refund of $40 back for the concert I was going to be attending at Pappy and Harriet’s, a small venue in Pioneertown, CA,” Hedges said. “Unfortunately I had to consistently email the promoter and the venue to try and get my money back. It was definitely a major headache for me but I need as much money as I can get during this time so I had to go the extra mile.

Lockdown orders were placed roughly five weeks ago surrounding COVID-19 and thats when concerts started to get postponed for the foreseeable future, if they weren’t cancelled altogether. While thousands upon thousands of events were cancelled across the world, this was done with the safety of citizens being the number one priority to stop large gatherings from happening and the virus from spreading.

Ryder Logan, an avid concert goer was very bummed he couldn’t attend some upcoming concerts to see some of his favorite bands. Luckily he got to see Tame Impala at the Forum in Los Angeles in early March prior to lockdown orders. Although he understands the reason behind the cancellations, he hopes that he can see the bands he was going to see at a later date.

“I am still waiting on refunds from three different concerts I was going to attend. I almost feel as it is not worth my time anymore because of how much stress it has caused trying to contact three different venues for separate concerts. They have taken weeks to get back to me,” said Logan. “With the gym being closed and not being able to go to concerts… I’m not sure where else am I supposed to sweat around strangers.”

Sophomore Jared Stewart was highly anticipating a concert that his girlfriend bought him tickets to months back. It was going to be the first time he saw the band in concert, so it really bummed him out that the coronavirus had to get in the way of that.

“I was looking forward to seeing Real Estate for my birthday at a small venue in San Diego,” said Stewart. “I understand why they cancelled simply because they had no choice and hope they reschedule once the coronavirus blows over. Unfortunately I have been waiting nearly a month for a refund front the venue.”

To try and make up for chaos during this time, many promoters and bands have partnered together to do live streams across various social media platforms to not only allow those stuck at home to brush their worries away for an hour, but also as a way for anybody who can spare some extra money to help support the artist through a donation link on the livestream. 

Unfortunately it will be nearly impossible for bands to make even close to the money that they would be making if they were touring during this time. Supporting artists through buying their merchandise is one of the most effective ways to help them out. 

Head to your favorite artist or bands website as they will get the biggest percentage of money from the sales placed directly through their website. Even the smallest purchase can go towards helping them get back on their feet when Covid-19 ends.