It’s not been the best couple of weeks for Ticketmaster.
First the anger over what fans called a change in the company’s refund policy when it comes to concerts postponed or called off due to coronavirus. They addressed that, with a policy rolled out last Friday that says it will start offering ways to get money back on May 1, with fans having 30 days from the time a concert postponement is announced.
But now it appears Ticketmaster’s reselling arm was still trying to offload tickets for events that have been called off — permanently or just for now — due to COVID-19.
As David Friend reported for The Canadian Press, a few dozen concerts were still available for purchase on Wednesday, including a DJ set by Andrew Rayel originally scheduled for tonight at Toybox Nightclub, via Ticketweb, a ticket seller owned by Ticketmaster. Until reached for comment, Ticketleader was still selling admission for shows in Vancouver at the PNE Forum — now those shows are listed as postponed.
Ticketweb was also still selling seats for a May 2 concert in Vancouver and a May 10 show at Hyphen Hyphen, despite pretty much all shows for the foreseeable future on hold.
Once Friend started calling around to see how this was still happening, some events were pulled.
Ticketleader’s president, Shelley Frost, told Friend that promoters have specifically asked for people to be able to still buy tickets for shows, regardless of when the show might take place. Frost then added that Ticketleader will be suspending all sales until at least May 30.
TicketWeb’s Matt Shearer said given the smaller sized-clubs that work with his company, some sellers and event organizers “have needed more time” to pull concert events or other listings, adding that no tickets for nearly canceled or postponed events have been sold within the past month.
Remember that Ticketmaster is the subject not just of anger from fans on both sides of the Great Lakes, but that some political leaders in the U.S. and Canada are calling for investigations and answers as to why refunds haven’t been answered up front and why policies were changed in light of historic amounts of cancellations and postponements in the past month. Odds are, any company or outlet found to be selling tickets when zero shows are happening anywhere in the world won’t be making any friends or putting legislators’ or fans’ minds at ease anytime soon either.