As we reported in an earlier story, Miami’s Ultra Music Festival and Austin’s SXSW have both been axed due to ongoing concerns about the coronavirus. Both events were due to kick off this month, and as you can imagine, due to both of their last-minute cancelations many of this year’s attendees have been left with non-refundable airline tickets as well as hotel reservations. It gets worse, word has it that ticket-holders for both of the events will not be receiving cash refunds from the festivals.
Via Reddit we have the email that has been issued to ticket-holders, it states that the Ultra Festival say that tickets for the 2020 festival will “remain valid and will be honored at either the 2021 or 2022 Ultra Miami event.” So, no cashback but the email says that the festival is offering: “an extraordinary added value package” this will include an exclusive DJ performance at a future festival; a discount code for merchandise; and “exclusive access” to purchase additional general admission tickets or premium tickets at a discounted price.
As of now, ticket-holders have 30 days to decide which event — 2021 or 2022 — they will attend. The ticket-holders that contacted the festival’s officials were told there are no refunds, because as they put it, the event has not been canceled, but postponed.
SXSW is also sticking to its strict no refund policy, details are available on its website and states that: “Any and all payments made to SXSW are not refundable for any reason, including, without limitation, failure to use Credentials due to illness, acts of God, travel-related problems, acts of terrorism, loss of employment and/or duplicate purchases.” Instead, like Ultra, SXSW is allowing badge-holders “to defer their registration to 2021, 2022 or 2023.”
We get it but come on guys, this is sticking it to the people who have already been hit with the bill for hotel and travel cancelations.
Roland Swenson, who is SXSW’s co-founder explained to the American-Statesman that the yearly event did not have insurance that provides the festival with coverage for cancellation because of “bacterial infections, communicable diseases, viruses and pandemics.”
In another blow, the SXSW festival also had to lay off around a third of its 175 year-round workforce. SXSW explained it: “has been rigorously reviewing our operations, and we are in the unimaginable position of reducing our workforce,” adding, “We are planning for the future and this was a necessary, but heartbreaking, step.”