Out-of-pocket Angus rock festival fans have been given a glimmer of refund hope after a $9 million US court payback order against the event’s ticketing company.
But the ACDC fans who shelled out for 2020 Bonfest tickets, which was cancelled due to coronavirus, may still face a long wait to get their money back.
The Kirriemuir festival, held in May, celebrates the town’s connection with the band as Kirrie baker’s son Bon Scott was the band’s lead singer during the early days of its rise to global stardom.
Event organisers DD8 Music this week expressed their frustration fans were still waiting to be paid back for tickets they shelled out on pre-pandemic.
The charity also said the delay in rockers from 30 countries getting nearly £60,000 worth of refunds was casting a shadow over plans for Bonfest’s 2022 return.
It has now emerged Washington State’s attorney general has won a lawsuit against ticket selling company Brown Paper Tickets after he took up the fight on behalf of an estimated 45,000 event organisers and ticket buyers worldwide.
The Seattle-based agency was at the centre of 1,200 complaints from March last year until February 2021 over its failure to pay back ticket monies for events which fell victim to the pandemic.
State attorney general Bob Ferguson launched the action after his office received hundreds of complaints.
Brown Paper Tickets has been given seven months to sort out the refunds under the King County Superior Court decree.
The company must also give a detailed update every 30 days on the repayment progress.
And it has been ordered to pay the attorney general’s officer $70,000 for court costs.
The court has said any breach of the decree could bring a $25,000 penalty for each violation.
An average of less than $50 is owed to individual ticket buyers, but as much as $10,000 to event organisers.
Priority will be given to Washington State customers within the global ruling.
It potentially leaves Bonfest fans well down the queue for getting their money back but DD8 chairman Graham Galloway welcomed the court ruling.
“This is a worldwide ruling so it is a glimmer of hope for those who are still waiting on a Bonfest refund,” he said.
“We sent out our own message to ticket holders last August encouraging them to raise a claim with banks or credit card companies, but for many the deadline to do that had passed.
“It’s not a great situation for people to still be in but it was something completely out of our control.”
No 2022 Bonfest decision yet
“Hopefully this decision and the requirements which have been imposed will see the refunds filter down to people still waiting for Bonfest refunds.
“It’s a positive development, but at this stage it’s probably still too early for us to make any immediate decision in terms of 2022.
Attorney general Mr Ferguson said: “Small theatres and arts organisations like your local children’s theatre, community centre, church or music school, have been hit hard by Covid-19.
“This resolution ensures Brown Paper Tickets will uphold its promises to these essential community spaces by returning the millions of dollars it owes them, and puts money back into the pockets of thousands of individuals across the country.”
Brown Paper Tickets did not respond to a request for comment.
DD8 said they had been disappointed with the refunds debacle having previously enjoyed a good relationship with the agency, which offered low-cost services to event organisers and kept buyer fees to a minimum.