Music fans get refund after below-par gig

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A new ruling means music fans in Finland can ask for a refund on their gig tickets if a show isn’t up to scratch.

Yle reports that Finland’s Consumer Disputes Board (CDB) has ruled that fans who attended a 2013 Chuck Berry concert in Helsinki are entitled to a 50% refund on the ticket price.

Berry was ill on the night of the show and even apologised to fans for the performance as he was suffering from flu-like symptoms. The CDB said the gig fell “well below reasonably expected standards.”

CDB chairman Pauli Stahlberg points out that the ruling doesn’t leave the door open for fans to demand a refund if they simply didn’t like the performance, or if the artist is known to play while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and is prone to less-than-perfect performances.

Stahlberg says: “Anyone seeking a ruling like this is always spurred by a subjective opinion, but that’s not enough to get a refund. What is significant is a generally agreed view that the concert was a failure, as it was in the Chuck Berry case.”

In the case of festivals, the amount of money a fan can expect to get back if they successfully claim for a refund will vary greatly. Stahlberg adds: “There are numerous different performers at a festival and so it has to be evaluated as a whole. A failed performance by a featured star is a bigger deal for consumers than one by a warm-up band.”