/ Money

Cancelled events: are you still waiting on a refund?

Did you miss a concert, festival, theatre show or sports event due to lockdown restrictions? Are you still waiting on a refund?

A string of lockdowns over the past year means you probably haven’t managed to physically attend any events in recent months.

Not being able to attend a festival, concert or sport event you’ve been looking forward to is frustrating enough as it is – but not being offered a refund adds salt to the wound.

We’re looking into events, ticketing platforms and insurance to see whether companies have been treating customers unfairly.

How are sports clubs handling pandemic-hit season tickets?

If you’re still waiting on a refund – or faced an uphill battle trying to get one – for events cancelled or postponed due to coronavirus, let us know in the comments below.

Cancelled and postponed events

We’ve heard from customers who were only given a short window to request a refund for events cancelled last year due to lockdown restrictions.

And we’ve also been contacted by ticket-holders who agreed to roll over their tickets to a postponed date, only for the rescheduled date to move again in light of another round of restrictions.

In these cases, a lot of event companies have refused refunds if customers can’t attend the new rescheduled date.

If something similar has happened to you, let us know.

Refunds short of booking fees

Or perhaps you did receive a refund but it was a smaller amount than you’d anticipated?

Primary ticket retailers such as See Tickets and Ticketmaster are obligated to refund you if your event is cancelled, but they only have to reimburse you the face value of your tickets.

This means, controversially, they can keep delivery costs and booking fees even if the event didn’t go ahead.

Do you feel you weren’t refunded the right amount? What kind of fees were kept by the event or ticketing company?

Virtual event gone wrong?

Glastonbury’s live stream was hit by technical difficulties last weekend – an ‘invalid code’ error message appeared when ticketholders tried to enter the virtual event.

The organisers apologised and have offered refunds to affected customers who paid £20 for a ticket.

Did you buy tickets to a livestream event that had tech issues? Were you issued a refund?

Ticket insurance

We’re also interested to hear about ticket insurance and whether it’s helped you secure money back for events cancelled or postponed in lockdown.

Let us know what insurance you bought and whether it covered you for COVID-related cancellations.


I recently received notification that the Edinburgh Tattoo is cancelled again and this time, I was very impressed that they by default are refunding tickets and then giving you the option to roll over the ticket value. Last time it was the other way around so kudos on them, especially as the money is for charity.

We booked to see The Killers at Emirates with ‘Gigs and tours’. The date has been moved 3 times and now we can’t make the 3rd date next year. They refunded us the value of the ticket but not the booking or transaction fee. I definitely feel the booking fee should be refunded too. They said it was in their terms and conditions that it wouldn’t be refunded when we booked but that was way before covid happened!

Cara – I share your disappointment, but a cancellation for any reason is still a cancellation and, if the booking site made it clear in the terms and conditions that there would be no refund, it is difficult to argue they are treating purchasers unfairly. You will be saving any additional travelling and other expenses as a result of the cancellation. Most people have experienced some form of inconvenience as a result of the pandemic and many have unfortunately suffered much worse outcomes. The name ‘The Killers’ is perhaps not the best choice of entertainment label in the present circumstances.

David Smith says:
4 June 2021

We are still awaiting £300+ from a cancelled airline ticket in Feb 2020. The Travel Agent TravelUp.com has received the refund from Cathay Pacific but refuses to pass this onto us. Normally, we would have used the credit card company to recover but with Covid-19 we accepted TravelUps word ref delays due to Covid-19. That is until it was too late to take further action. We have been in touch with WHICH? and they advised we contact the CMA. We have not done so because CMA do not deal with individual complaints. Any chance of a super class action referral to CMA on Covid-19 related consumer complaints?

David – It might be worth speaking to the Civil Aviation Authority because that is the regulator for air travel and the travel agent was responsible for organising your flights. So far as I know the CAA does deal with individual complaints and has chastised the air travel industry for failing to comply with the regulations on having to reimburse passengers within fourteen days of flight cancellations.

I am still awaiting a refund of £425 or exchange for a festival that was supposed to happen in 2020. I paid for it via PayPal in 2019, so I’m well out of the limitation period to raise a dispute via PayPal. I didn’t receive any communication about it and assumed I could at least exchange them for the festival that’s happening this year. However, no-one is replying to my emails. I’m not sure what I can do. I’m thinking about bringing a small claims court action, but the company running the event has now dissolved. Another company has been incorporated to run this summer’s festival. Could I sue them, perhaps?