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If the organisers cancel the event

This advice applies to England

After you buy tickets for an event, such as a music, sporting or theatre event, occasionally the event may be cancelled. This page explains what you can do in this situation.

If the organisers cancel the event

If the organisers cancel the event, you are entitled to a full refund of the face value of the ticket, and usually the booking fee. The face value is the cost of the ticket as printed on it, without extras on top such as postage, administration and booking fees.

You are entitled to this refund because the organisers failed to provide what they sold you, and have broken their contract with you.

This will often be done automatically , although some will explain the way to claim on their websites or through emails.

Check whether your ticket seller is a member of the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR). If they are, they should follow a code of practice which says they must refund at least the face value price when an event is cancelled.

Sometimes the small print on your ticket, or wording on the website about the ticket sale, is unfair. For example, if it says you're not entitled to a refund if the event is cancelled by the organisers, this is likely to be unfair. In this case, you should complain to your ticket seller. If you have difficulty getting a refund for the event, you can contact the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) if your ticket seller is a member.

The organisers have changed the date

If an event is changed to another date, your tickets should be valid. If you can't make the new date, then you're entitled to a full refund.

If you bought from a secondary ticket seller

If you bought from a secondary ticket seller you may not have the same chance of getting a refund. Secondary ticket sellers look for tickets and sell them on, often for much more than the cost printed on the ticket. Event promoters may only refund if you bought a ticket from one of their authorised agents or directly from the venue.

Refund of other costs such as travel and accommodation

If the event is cancelled or changed, the event organisers do not have to give you a refund for any travel or accommodation costs you have, unless you bought the tickets as part of a holiday travel package.

Problems with holiday services

Getting a refund if you paid by card

If you paid by credit card and the ticket cost more than £100, contact your credit card company as you may be able to get your money back through them. They are likely to be ‘equally liable’ with the ticket seller to refund money, when the ticket seller has broken their contract with you.

If you use a debit card, you may be able to claim back using something called ‘chargeback’. Contact your bank to see if this is possible.

You can find out more about extra protection when you buy with a credit card from the Financial Ombudsman Service.

How to write a letter to your credit card company

Next steps

If you need more help

Other useful information

Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) at: www.star.org.uk

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