/ Travel & Leisure

Bitter about Bieber? Can you get a refund for lateness?

Justin Bieber performing on stage

Last night Justin Bieber fans were left outraged after the pop star arrived on stage almost two hours late for a gig at the O2. Do Bieber fans have the right to a refund on their tickets? And if not, why not?

The Canadian pop singer who shot to fame via YouTube has left his hordes of fans irritated as he showed up on stage at 10.20pm – nearly two hours after the scheduled start time of 8.30pm. Although on Twitter he claimed he was 40 minutes late due to supporting acts scheduled to go on before him.

Fans, some of which had been waiting since doors opened at 6.30pm, were left devastated as many had to leave to get last trains and miss Bieber’s performance. Not to mention angry parents waiting to pick up their kids.

So far there’s been no word from the production team – although Justin has apologised to his fans – ‘there is no excuse for that and I apologise for anyone we upset,’ he tweeted.

Should Bieber refund ticket holders?

Apart from being pretty frustrating if you’re a Belieber (a Justin Bieber believer, don’t you know), do you have any legal rights to a refund?

Unfortunately, the answer is probably no. You paid to see Justin Bieber, and he showed up – even if he was very late. However, you could still try to get a refund from the promoter, AEG Live, by emailing enquiries@aeglive.co.uk.

What are your ticket booking rights

The story’s a bit different if the event you’ve booked for is cancelled, rescheduled or has changed location – in those cases you’re entitled to a refund of at least the face value of the ticket.

Check the ticket seller’s terms and conditions before buying your tickets, as while you’ll get the face value of your ticket back, you may be out of pocket on the extra fees charged by your ticket seller. And be careful about simply changing your mind – no matter the reason, you’d be very unlikely to get a refund.

Were you or your kids at Bieber’s concert last night? Have you tried to get a refund on your ticket? Do you think you should be entitled to one?


Great. It’s never too early to get young people to become aware of consumer rights.

Now why don’t we scrap the daft plan to reintroduce teaching of metric units and help kids become aware of important issues (many of which involve money) that they will face when they leave school. Focusing on examples that we can relate to is an important part of learning.

Now why don’t we scrap the daft plan to reintroduce teaching of metric units …..?!

I am not sure of the logic in connection with Bieber disrespecting his fans with education in money matters. I am all in favour of education however what I think might be more useful to children and adults alike is the exposing of humankinds folly in endowing people with mass media coverage as in some exempt from proper behaviour. That they may be called the most beautiful, sexiest, best does not make them nice, intelligent or deserving of more respect than any other human.

There is plenty of research to show the problem and how the brain is susceptible:

Imagine a world where “reality stars” , musicians, politicians and actors, are seen as normal humans who may on occasions write a good tune or act well. Now that would be an education.

The mass media will of course be distraught at not being able to fill hundreds of inches per day of vacuous information on the “stars” of the global media village. Perhaps they could spend more time on exposing the virtues of those who have actually created value like Dyson, or the iniquities of local government corruption.

E. Brown says:
5 March 2013

I once went to a concert by the legendary Texan bluses combo ZZ Top. They turned up 100 years too early, dressed like cowboys and playing only one song – something called Doubleback. Myself and my friend were very disappointed. And we were the lucky ones. Many of their fans probably never got to see them at all. I realise that we won’t get our money (double) back but it’s just irresponsible of these ‘so-called’ entertainers to let down fans who have paid a lot of money. I, for one, will not be going back to the future to see them again.

As a devoted Pete Doherty fan in the early noughties, I spent many frustrating evenings in grotty London clubs waiting for him to show up on time. Even when he did pull everything together at the Royal Albert Hall, a stage invasion cut the show about half an hour short.

Despite royally cheesing me off to the point where I haven’t listened to a Babyshambles album in yonks, I still don’t think I deserved a refund.

The point to this slightly rambling anecdote, is that in my opinion you pay to see a show and the unpredictability of that show is half its appeal. This works both ways from surprise guest appearances to late on stage appearances.

If you start forcing artists (yes, even Justin Bieber) to perform in a certain manner, then I think you’re pushing good time-keeping at the expense of creativity.

Wagane says:
9 March 2013

You went to see Pete Doherty where more than half of the appeal was the mess he would be in but this was a pop concert at the O2 for pre teen girls whose parents had paid hundreds of pounds for the dubious privilege. My sister tried to get some to take my daughter and now I am glad she couldn’t get any as I would have been fuming if he had turned up at 10:20 on a school night after paying £300 for each ticket. If his audience was wannabe junkie teens who maybe paid a score then no big deal but this was little girls who don’t get the chance to go see him every other weekend and he didn’t even apologise on the night but got a flunky to tweet one the next day after the negative news was out. Becoming more and more arrogant due to his dubious talent is going to be his downfall.

[This comment has been edited for breaking our commenting guidelines. Thanks, mods.]

Martin McFly says:
5 March 2013

My wife attended the gig last night but was forced into leaving early due to her bad hand. Given young Justin’s tardiness, it was actually a stroke of luck that she left when did (we live up in Hill Valley – a real pain to get back to). Anyway, this whole episode really reminds me of my old school teacher Mr Strickland who was, rather aptly, incredibly strict when it came to punctuality – I vividly remember him marching around the corridors, scolding any latecomers. I suspect Mr Bieber would benefit greatly from this kind of discipline!

B.Tannen says:
5 March 2013

I went to the Bieber concert last night. While I was waiting (and quite miffed with it) I read a newspaper to pass the time. It was only after about 15 minutes, that I realised it was dated April 22 2013. It had all the sports results including the World Series. I now fully intend to gamble all my money on these sure things and spend the winnings on a large house and flashy car. I will use my resulting wealth and power to marry the Hill Valley prom queen. If Bieber had been on time, this would never have happened. So well done, I’m now very much a Bielieber.

Hi B. Tannen. That sounds like a perfect situation! Although beware – there is a slight possibility that the happy events you describe (marrying the high school prom queen, amassing enormous wealth by gambling with your knowledge of the results of future sporting events) could lead to trouble down the line.

It’s possible that your reading of the paper will lead to a nightmarish dystopian future in which you’re a nasty character liable to chase teenagers onto rooftops at gunpoint. I just wanted to let you know that you should be able to seek redress for the original sale. The Sale of Goods Act explains that items must be as described, of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose. If you’re concerned about the impact of reading future news, I’d recommend you return the paper to the shop from which you bought it and get yourself a refund – any reputable company would understand that a newspaper is supposed to tell *today’s* news, and you’d have good argument that a future-paper would not be either ‘as described’ or, realistically, fit for the purpose it was sold for. I do hope this helps.

Angrymum says:
5 March 2013

I was at the concert last night with my 8 year old daughter and was disgusted in the way it was handled. I paid over £300 to see him plus travel expenses and hotel. As I didn’t know London and the tube we had to leave before he got on stage. I can understand he was late as he was too busy enjoying himself but what I can’t accept is the disappointment on my daughters face. There was NO announcement in the venue as to him being late, why or how long, Nor was it announced that they were in discussions with London Transport to keep the tube and ferry open until everyone was home. Had they done this then there might have been a different outcome. My point of view is if he sells tickets for a concert for a particular time and date then that should count as a contract and he should have been on time especially as his fan base is under 10’s and arrangements need to be made for transport. I for one will definately be looking for a refund.

Caroline says:
7 March 2013

I was also there, it was disgusting not being told anything at all. I had 2 girls with me & we got home at 3.30am on a school night. The upset this has caused is horrible, as my Daughters whole life revolves around him, general public won’t understand this.

I feel a contract has been broken, & a refund is needed, it certainly wouldn’t make things right, but slightly soften the blow. Especially for the crying children that didn’t get to see him.

Maybe a good old petition should be started!

Jessica Burke says:
5 March 2013

Further to the completely disastrous event at the O2 last night I have made an official complaint with Aeg.
My rant went along the lines off …
Justin Bieber was due to go on stage at 8.30pm and did not make an appearance until 10.25pm.
Our group consisted of 3 children, one aged 18 and twins aged 10.
The 10 year olds were so tired after waiting for 3 ½ hours for him to perform.
When he eventually did appear on the stage, they were asleep!
This is not acceptable for a performer to behave in such a way, especially when 99% of the audience were young school children.
The communication with members of staff inside and outside the arena was appalling, and we were not given any direct answers.
We were however informed that he would not be performing his whole set, which should have in fact been 1 hour and 40 minutes.
This was then changed to he will be performing the whole set but with no encores!
Due to this complete shambles, we had to text the eldest and ask her to leave the concert early, as this was far , far too late for school children to be attending, and of course
the issue of public transport finishing.
Children were crying, falling asleep in their seats, and many children even had to leave before he came on the stage!
His set was cut by half an hour, so in all, the audience was left very short changed.
We arrived at the O2 at 5pm and left at 11.15.and Justin Bieber was only on stage for the grand total of 1 hour and 15 minutes!
None of the above is acceptable – Never in my life, have I had to endure such complete mayhem at a concert.

Interesting, I didn’t realise he did not perform his whole set.

Judith says:
22 March 2013

Did you get anywhere with AEG?

Phil says:
6 March 2013

Justin Bieber should apologise to the whole of humanity.

This sounds like a horrible situation, especially for those with young children. I do wonder why, for artists like this, there isn’t some version of a matinee performance anyway. If I were Bieber I’d see if I could offer an alternative date for those who missed it because they were asleep!

Would be really interested to hear from Jessica and Angrymum when you’ve heard back from AEG to see what they say.

Jessica says:
6 March 2013

As soon as I get a response I will re-post – jx

Mell Pritchard says:
6 March 2013

I was there with my daughter and have to say it was a nightmare him being late but the show was AMAZING !! It was wrong he didn’t apologise when he came on stage but in my opinion worth every penny to see my daughters face as he performed BRILLIANT show and I really enjoyed it too. I do feel sorry for those with small children and the parents waiting outside. I had to send my daughter to school the next day in tears from the rollercoster of emotions and tiredness which was a shame but she looks back on it with such joy and you only live once and what fantastic memories she now has of seeing the most famous 19 year old in the world! I just hope there was a valid reason and he isn’t getting into a rock and roll lifestyle as he was always an amazing kid but its not my place to judge and like I say an apology on the night would have been sincere. There were 3 songs he didn’t sing but can’t believe he didn’t sing believe on his BELIEVE TOUR!! However would take her again in a heartbeat if we had the chance and maybe there lays the problem for him learning from this but let’s hope he does and continues to make his mum proud! I would also like to point out the O2 made no apology on the night either at any point even if they Didnt know what was occurring something could have been said!!! I would appreciated a free cuppa from O2 and a free t shirt for the kids on the way out from JB would have sufficed!!

Sophie Gilbert says:
7 March 2013

Who’s Justin Bieber?

Children, bad stuff happens!

Bex says:
18 March 2013

I am outraged, I’ve just received an email from the Beiber promotors refusing a refund, the whole evening cost us over £300 to see him for less than 40 minutes! Did anyone out there get a refund? I don’t know who to write to next?

Caroline says:
18 March 2013

No, I have been refused a refund today as well. Don’t know what else to try. Anyway that a petition online could be done?

Judith says:
22 March 2013

Outrageous!!!!! There PR coverage was a complete lie then. They obviously had no intention I ever refunding anyone….

Jessica says:
22 March 2013

I have also the bulk standard email saying there would be NO refunds!I think this is outrageous !

Any ideas on what to do next, would be gratefully received !

S Houghton says:
1 May 2013

I have tried obtaining a refund from AEG Live who have refused any refund. I think it’s disgraceful after the show he performed!! Has anyone had any luck with a refund?

The only time the Entertainment Industry will sit up and listen is when the country’s courts tell them to. Otherwise they will continue to do as they have done in the past and hide behind the T&C’s. Is it time for somebody big (newspaper / philanthropist / Which?) to start proceedings, and then see if the Promoters wish to take their chance in court, or wish to settle quickly out of court?

Maybe the settlement could be a free Blieber concert in the O2 at a date in the Summer hols? It would probably inconvenience a certain 19yo Canadian too and show him to respect his young fans.