Because the coronavirus pandemic has devastated the touring business, it isn’t shocking that Live Nation, the world’s largest live-entertainment firm, has been impacted on a scale arguably higher than that of some other firm. Not solely has it seen greater than 8,000 concert events and festivals impacted since March (with 6,500 occasions postponed and 1,500 occasions cancelled), it has been clobbered within the press for its refund coverage — which was just lately revised, after appreciable criticism, to incorporate postponed reveals in addition to cancelled ones — and seen its inventory costs take a beating, and its Ticketmaster service has had some 50,000 occasions on its platform impacted.
However chairman/CEO Michael Rapino has fought to revive confidence in each the corporate and the business at massive, and he circulated a memo to the employees late Monday clarifying its insurance policies and practices in important element.
The memo follows in full, however along with the above statistics, he notes that Live Nation has already refunded greater than $80 million to ticketholders — and Ticketmaster some $400 million — and famous that relating to Ticketmaster refunds, “You will need to remind everybody that Ticketmaster is a platform, and doesn’t maintain on to cash from shopper gross sales,” he wrote. “So as to subject refunds, Ticketmaster should first get approval and funds from our shoppers. These occasion organizers of concert events, festivals, video games or occasions set the coverage on refunds, and Ticketmaster facilitates companies accordingly.”
He additionally acknowledged that the extent of the lockdown has delayed the corporate’s response time. “In a traditional setting, dealing with present adjustments is often a quick course of,” he wrote, “however with the present scale of disruption there are lots of excursions in a holding sample amidst the uncertainty of when native occasion restrictions shall be lifted, and scheduling backlogs as many venues wait for professional sports activities to set their new seasons earlier than providing us new dates.”
The memo follows under in full:
As you realize all too effectively by now, the worldwide well being disaster has had a huge impact on the reside leisure enterprise, resulting in the cancellation or postponement of tens of hundreds of occasions throughout the globe. The fast escalation and big scale of this disruption has led to an unimaginable quantity of confusion and misinformation about ticket refunds.
Right this moment I need to define Live Nation and Ticketmaster’s refund insurance policies so that you all perceive what we’re doing and why to your conversations with followers, companions, shoppers and mates.
First, Live Nation has already dedicated to main the business by offering essentially the most complete refund choices to followers.
- For context, Live Nation has had greater than 8,000 concert events and festivals impacted since March, with 6,500 occasions postponed and 1,500 occasions cancelled. And thus far, we’ve already refunded $80 million to followers.
- In a traditional setting, dealing with present adjustments is often a quick course of, however with the present scale of disruption there are lots of excursions in a holding sample amidst the uncertainty of when native occasion restrictions shall be lifted, and scheduling backlogs as many venues wait for professional sports activities to set their new seasons earlier than providing us new dates.
- Recognizing this complexity, some nations have supplied a 1 12 months voucher program to permit occasion organizers to get refunds completed proper and make sure the long-term well-being of the music and sporting occasions they like to take pleasure in.
- Within the U.S. and Canada we rolled out a Ticket Refund Plan to provide followers a 123 of refund choices:
- For cancelled reveals, ticket holders will mechanically obtain a refund, consistent with our longtime coverage.
- We additionally rolled out a particular promotion throughout our venues for followers who know they’ll be coming to reveals sooner or later. Our amphitheaters, golf equipment and theaters will give followers the choice to pick a 150% credit score for future reveals as an alternative choice to a conventional refund. So in the event that they spent $200 on tickets, they are going to obtain $300 in credit score. After they select this selection, Live Nation will donate tickets to healthcare staff to share the reward of reside occasions with these engaged on the entrance line. We are going to donate one ticket for each ticket initially bought.
- For rescheduled reveals, ticket holders will mechanically have their tickets honored for the brand new date, except they go for a refund as soon as new dates are introduced. If new dates aren’t set inside 60 days of a present being postponed, followers will have the ability to get a refund at the moment.
Live Nation is barely one of many many occasion organizers utilizing Ticketmaster’s platform. Ticketmaster companies numerous different shoppers, and thus far there are 50,000 occasions which have been cancelled, postponed or rescheduled globally on the TM Platform. The amount of occasions being cancelled and postponed within the final month is bigger than the final 10 years mixed, and this staggering quantity has contributed to a particularly complicated working setting that has upended our strange processes. On the identical time, we needed to prioritize the well being and security of our international name heart employees by transitioning to a work-from-home setup that didn’t exist earlier than the disaster began. Whereas these elements have slowed our typical response instances, I need to guarantee you that our buy coverage has not modified.
- Throughout all its occasion organizers Ticketmaster is issuing full refunds for all cancelled reveals.
- For postponed or rescheduled reveals, we’re issuing refunds for all shoppers which have accepted of us doing so.
- You will need to remind everybody that Ticketmaster is a platform, and doesn’t maintain on to cash from shopper gross sales. So as to subject refunds, Ticketmaster should first get approval and funds from our shoppers. These occasion organizers of concert events, festivals, video games or occasions set the coverage on refunds, and Ticketmaster facilitates companies accordingly.
- 60% of the over 50,000 occasions which have been cancelled, postponed and rescheduled globally on the TM Platform have been approved for refunds – and we’ve already returned over $400 million to followers.
- We’re persevering with to work with shoppers to expedite their refund approvals as rapidly as attainable. For reference, under is a breakout of present refund choices for rescheduled occasions by class on the TM platform:
- MLB 66% of groups
- MLS 27% of groups
- NBA 70% of groups
- NHL 52% of groups
- 100% of LN and AEG reveals
- 56% all different reveals
- 53% of venues are providing refunds
- We anticipate these percentages to all strategy 100% because the business works via the present disruption within the coming weeks.
- For postponed or rescheduled occasions providing refunds via TM, most followers have opted to maintain their ticket, with solely 3% requesting refunds.
- Wanting throughout the business, Ticketmaster is working with our shoppers to supply followers essentially the most versatile refund choices obtainable:
We hope this supplies some readability on what our crew is doing to supply followers, artists, and shoppers the flexibleness to navigate this disaster. From the promoters attempting to barter a large quantity of recent dates for reveals, to the event crew including new performance to the Ticketmaster platform to provide followers extra decisions, to the decision heart employees who has labored tirelessly to reply to each single fan…..I need to thanks to your dedication on getting us up to now.
It takes a whole ecosystem to deliver reside occasions to life, and we recognize your dedication as we work via the small print of shifting these reveals world wide.
Thanks all to your efforts and your teamwork,