17 Apr 2020

Fans in limbo: Promoters target October for resumption of concerts

10:31 am on 17 April 2020

Ticket holders for live events indefinitely postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic are frustrated that they can't get a refund.

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Performances by the Ten Tenors and Patti Smith have been postponed, according to Ticketmaster's website. Photo: Supplied / AFP

The Commerce Commission has issued guidelines after fielding complaints and queries about live shows.

But promoters say they don't have to offer refunds until a postponed event has a new date and possibly a new venue.

With so many unknowns around the future of live events, it may take a while before this happens - or a decision is made to cancel.

The president of the New Zealand Promoters' Association Brent Eccles told Morning Report if a show is postponed, the promoter's intention is to stage it on another date but with international artists there was the complication of when borders would be reopened.

"Generally we're looking at shows coming back on from about October so we're planning to put the local artists in around that time and then hopefully get the international artists back in."

Once new dates were announced, fans would be able to ask for refunds, however, Eccles urged people to remember they bought their tickets in the hope of seeing an artist, so they should work with promoters who wanted to deliver.

There would be an immediate refund for cancellations.

Promoters were all "shuffling for the same dates from October to December" and he expected things would become clearer within the next fortnight.

He said if the government's ambition of eradicating Covid-19 was achieved, he did not see why shows could not be held.

"I really want to see the New Year's Eve festival to happen; it'd be tragic if it didn't happen for New Zealand. I really want to see the theatre shows happen."

The international scene was different but it would be beneficial for the music industry if an arrangement could be made with Australia to allow Australasian artists to move between the two countries.

There was a big question mark around other international artists and today the music industry will put in a major submission to help the government with this.

"We want to help the government to problem solve this... If it's eradicated what's the problem?"

The local music scene is strong with the likes of Six60 and Fat Freddy's Drop and a lot of festivals are already booking them for early 2021 so there was no difficulty with them but international artists were another story, he said.

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Six60 performing at Western Springs in February 2019. Photo: © Shelley Te Haara

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