Colorado concerts cancelled as frustrated fans get $3 million refund

Head-spinning, COVID-related concert news continued this week as touring artists shelved local shows due to health concerns, even as promoters continued selling tickets to dozens of newly announced, metro-area events.

The mixed messages from the music industry follow increasingly tight COVID rules at music and sports venues, including the largest ones booked by corporate promoters AEG Presents Rocky Mountains and Live Nation. All concerts at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Mission Ballroom, the Fillmore Auditorium and most other large venues now require concertgoers to be masked and provide proof of vaccination.

A few touring artists have brought even more measures to bear, in some cases canceling shows at venues that can’t or won’t accommodate their stricter rules. That includes Canadian crooner Michael Buble’s cancellation this week of a Sept. 20 show in Austin, Texas.

But there was good news, too: On Tuesday, Attorney General Phil Weiser announced that 8,688 Colorado ticket-holders who had been on the hook with San Francisco-based ticket reseller Stubhub will receive refunds totaling $3,120,442, or about $359 per ticket-holder.

The refunds apply to people who bought tickets under the company’s pre-pandemic refund policy for events that were canceled due to COVID-19, investigators said. Instead of honoring its “FanProtect Guarantee” — that the purchase price and fees for all shows would be refunded if the events were canceled — Stubhub stiffed its customers starting in March 2020.

The company instead said that ticket-holders would receive account credits equal to 120% of their purchases, to be used for future events, while denying them their money.

“Consumers should not be out of their money when a service they paid for was never provided,” Weiser said in a press statement. “My office is committed to protecting consumers, and we will continue to take action to ensure that consumers, like those of Stubhub, receive the refunds they are owed.”

Stubhub relented in May, after more than a year of withholding and in the shadow of the coordinated investigation across nine states and the District of Columbia, according to Weiser. (If you got left out, call StubHub at 866-788-2482 or the state AG’s office at 800-222-4444.)

Still, that’s a rare win for ticket-holders, some of whom have been clutching passes for canceled and postponed events since 2019. Failing to meet the 30-day refund window from when the cancellation or postponement was announced has also become a frustration for some who did not read the fine print, according to more than a dozen ticket-holders who have contacted The Denver Post.

Some cancellations are only announced via email, so be sure to check spam filters. Refunds in most cases are available by request at the point of purchase, or (less likely) automatically refunded. Cancellations include:

    • The Remedy Band’s Ethan J. Perry cited health risks when he canceled solo shows at the Jamestown Mercantile (Sept. 16) and Greeley’s 477 Distilling (Sept. 17) this week, along with the rest of a tour that included dates in Wyoming, Montana and Washington. “With the current outbreak of the delta variant, I feel that this is the only option to ensure everyone’s safety,” he wrote in a statement.
    • Billy Prine & the Prine Time Band canceled its Nov. 4 concert at the Boulder Theater, with no replacement date, or reason for the cancellation, provided. The band, playing the songs of the late John Prine, still has more dates — including in Iowa and Kansas — on the calendar for November.
    • Los Angeles duo Johnnyswim, which was scheduled to headline the Ogden Theatre on Oct. 25, has pushed that show back to April 23, 2022. The act, which just released a new single, also reportedly postponed shows in other cities, although its website was not updated to reflect that as of press time.
    • Although it was still a ways out, Omar Apollo’s May 3, 2022, concert at the Ogden Theatre with Deb Never and Niko Rubio has been postponed, with no new date announced. The Indiana artist on Twitter cited creative frustration for the delay.

    This week’s news also follows Colorado cancellations and postponements last week from Saint Motel, Gary Numan, Purity Ring and Yola, and even more COVID-nixed shows from Florida Georgia Line, Lucinda Williams, Stevie Nicks, Watsky and others in Colorado this summer.

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