Woods: Live @ Veishea does right thing by refunding tickets


Photo: William Deaton/Iowa State Daily

Andrew Allen performs a song during the first night of concerts at the Veishea celebration outside of the Molecular Biology Building on April 19, 2013.

Zoë Woods

Live @ Veishea — which would have featured many well known artists — will not go on as a result of a decision announced by President Steven Leath on Tuesday to suspend the remainder of the Veishea celebration.

Many emotions are probably coursing through the veins of not only the students of Iowa State but the citizens of Ames. Some of those emotions may be good or bad, but one thing is for sure, the Live @ Veishea festival will not take place as planned.

So what happens to all of the artists who were scheduled to perform? What happens to all of the equipment reserved for the show? Most of all, what happens to those who purchased tickets for the two day event?

Live @ Veishea made it clear that refunds would not be available if scheduling conflicts were to arise, a rain storm were to hit or a customer changed his or her mind. But does the disclaimer also cover a canceled show because of an unforeseen riot? Surprisingly, yes.

Live @ Veishea has made the honorable decision to refund all ticket purchases in full.

Unfortunately, festivals held elsewhere would not repeat such actions. Lollapalooza — a similar music festival, which takes place in Grant Park between downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan — is a rain or shine event spanning over a three day period.

“Ticket user bears all risks, including cancellation of the event and of inclement weather,” Lollapalooza states in its disclaimer.

Even though Live @ Veishea did not specifically mention that tickets are nonrefundable if the festival is canceled, it generally stated customers would not get their money back after purchase.

It is an admirable decision to have all of the tickets refunded, so for those of you who were anxious about not getting your money back, rest assured that you will get back every penny.

However, Live @ Veishea is not necessarily setting an unheard of precedent. Another music festival known by the name Coachella is a three day event held in Indio, Calif. Unlike Lollapalooza, Coachella will refund ticket purchases made by the customer if the event is canceled. At least if tickets are purchased through Ticket Chopper.

“In the unfortunate event your event is canceled, your money will be refunded. Unfortunately, if the Coachella tickets have already been shipped to you, we will not be able to refund the amount paid for shipping,” as stated on Ticket Chopper’s website.

Even if Live @ Veishea decided not to refund the tickets, they would have been within full legal rights not too. It would not have come to a lawsuit like some might have thought.

According to consumer.findlaw.com, “Legally, it is a matter of contract law: If the merchant’s policy — or sales contract — clearly states “all sales final” in a way that is not confusing to customers, then it is not required to accept returns on otherwise salable goods.”

Live @ Veishea’s disclaimer states, “Concerts will be held at the outdoor venue, rain or shine and tickets are nonrefundable.” In my mind that is pretty clear for the consumer to understand.

So the festival would have been well within their legal rights to keep all of the money. Again, though, the decision has been made to refund ticket prices. Thankfully, minds and wallets can be put at ease by this wonderful choice.