/ 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!


You see Rob, I have to say I really don’t agree that the unpredictability is any appeal at all. In any other circumstance I’d be furious with a two hour delay – I mean, imagine turning up to a restaurant reservation and being told there was a two hour delay on your table? Or I’ve never heard of something like this on a West End show for example. Why should these artists be any different? And it’s a fair old whack forking out for these concerts.
If it was a technical error, I’d expect that to be unearthed before a sold-out concert is packed out with your fans who have come to hear you sing. If you, as the fan, then cannot make the concert because of the problem of last trains and tubes home, I’d say that I would expect some form of compensation – even if it is the case they are not legally obliged.

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.