Feel ‘Bamboozled’ when a concert is canceled? Here’s what to know in NJ
Concerts aren't like they were in the 1970s when tickets were much easier to acquire and could cost only $15. Dynamic pricing schemes and secondary market sales have made attending a concert a big investment and a huge undertaking.
When that investment of time and money goes sideways on you with a cancellation, it can be frustrating, to say the least.
The three-day Bamboozle festival that was supposed to take place May 5 to 7 in Atlantic City was just canceled after the city says organizers didn't meet the deadline for filing paperwork. Demands for refunds are in full swing and New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has had at least 22 complaints.
If a show you hold tickets for is canceled or postponed here's what you should know.
If your tickets were acquired through Ticketmaster you should be directly notified by Ticketmaster and they will refund the purchase price.
But what if you got tickets through a secondary site? StubHub says they refund for any canceled show, and if you're wondering about the extra you pay above face value through sites like this, don't worry, StubHub says it refunds your purchase price even when it far exceeds value.
What about VividSeats? Their website states in the event of a canceled show "you receive full compensation of the purchase price (including delivery charges, less possible restocking fees), or a credit to use on a future purchase, as determined at our sole discretion."
Hmmm. A credit to use on a future purchase as determined at their sole discretion is probably not giving you full peace of mind.
Now what if a show is "postponed" or "rescheduled" but not canceled?
This happens all the time. In fact, 95% of the time this is the case and only 5% are actual cancellations. So this is far more likely to be what you'll face and the answers aren't so black and white.
In the case of a postponement with a rescheduled show, if you purchased through Ticketmaster they say they will notify you of the new date. If you can't make the new date and want a refund, Ticketmaster says "the decision to refund the ticket price is in the hands of the artist, team, venue or promoter."
Ouch. So you might have to try to sell it. And a secondary site like StubHub says it will not refund any money for postponed shows. You're on your own. The only option is to sell your ticket, and they recommend doing it through their site (of course).
Same deal on rescheduled shows through Vivid Seats. No refunds. So it's a real buyer beware.
This happened to a ton of people during the pandemic shutdowns. In some cases, an artist didn't perform for a year or more after the announced postponement, and a fan's life could have certainly changed by then. If only they had concert ticket insurance like there's car insurance and health insurance.
Interestingly, Vivid Seats offers Allianz Ticket Protection. "Event ticket protection can reimburse 100% of your purchase if you can’t go for a covered illness, injury, traffic accident, and more."
Remember when planning for a concert was fun?
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
You can now listen to Deminski & Doyle — On Demand! Hear New Jersey’s favorite afternoon radio show any day of the week. Download the Deminski & Doyle show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now.
Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.