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Image for Complaints About Cancelled Festivals Multiply As Major Festivals FallSoundwave Festival 2014, Perth

Complaints About Cancelled Festivals Multiply As Major Festivals Fall

Written by Sam Murphy on December 5, 2016

Complaints about cancelled music festivals have risen exponentially as festivals continue to fall around Australia leaving punters confused about refunds.

Consumer Affairs Victoria
received more than 160 complaints about music festivals in the last financial year, up from 20 in the previous year.

In the past six years, 49 festivals have been cancelled around Australia including big-guns like Soundwave, Disconnect and Harvest.

Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria Simon Cohen said that consumers were confused about whether the festival or the ticketing agency is responsible for refunding punters.

This confusion arose when both Soundwave and Maitreya were cancelled this year with punters struggling to get refunds.

“Remember, if a festival is cancelled, it’s the responsibility of the company that sold you the ticket to pay you back,” Cohen said.

“Taking some simple precautions, such as paying by credit card, can also go a long way towards ensuring you’re not left out of pocket later on.”

Queensland Fair Trading also issued a statement letting festivalgoers know that they are also entitled to a refund if the lineup changes drastically to what it was when they bought the ticket.

“If the event goes ahead, but the line-up is very different to what was promised, you are also entitled to a refund if you never would have bought the ticket had you known about the revised line-up,” Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said.

“It is important though, if you want to seek a refund because of line-up changes, that you not attend the festival at all, as once you attend, you are effectively agreeing to the changed line-up.”

There has been a country-wide push in the last few weeks to educate punters on their rights. State fair trading and consumer affairs departments across the country have all issued statements, telling punters that if a festival is different to what was advertised when they bought the ticket then they are entitled to a refund.

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