In the wake of Michael Jackson’s passing, a Thriller-esque monster has emerged. That would be the refund. The refund for 50 shows. 750,000 tickets. Various tickets outlets. One venue. Unlike a typical tour where various venues and box offices might be invovled, this is all being shouldered by AEG Live, the promoter and operator of the O2 Arena in London, and its ticketing partners. Refunds due are amounting to more than $85 million on the 750,000 tickets sold.
Fans are anxiously awaiting instructions as to how they can get their refund, but AEG is still in the process of holding meetings to decide exactly how to deal with this. So if you have Michael Jackson tickets, unfortunately we don’t have any refund details for you yet. (And we should note that TicketCity did not sell any tickets to Mr. Jackson’s upcoming shows.) While a refund may seem simple enough, it’s more complicated with not only Ticketmaster involved as the primary box office seller, but AEG Live also partnered with reseller Viagogo, O2 partnered with reseller Seatwave and there were also likely a large number of VIP and travel packages sold. Add on top of that the fact that there was a global market for this show, now we add in currencies, exchange rates, etc. And now things really get complicated.
There are a few details that are fascinating about this situation. First, the fact that it’s surely going to require an inordinate amount of time to reverse all of these transactions which originally happened within five hours, to sell out the entire 50-date event. Too bad there is no control-Z command for this situation.
Second, this fiasco, or what one concert industry exec referred to as “the biggest mess in the history of our business,” is estimated at the astonishing sum of $85 million, while reports have recently come out that MJ was over $400 million in debt when he passed. 400 million dollars. Hopefully that makes AEG feel a little better in this monstrosity. I’m not sure what would be worse: organizing the $85 million refund or managing the estate to develop a plan to make good on $400 million in debt.
So if you have Michael Jackson tickets and want to claim your refund, the best you can do right now is to locate your tickets and any receipts or credit card information from the transaction. Be sure you understand from whom you bought your tickets. If you did not by your tickets from the primary seller, it will be difficult and most likely impossible to get a refund from them. You will need to contact the seller who sold you the tickets. AEG Live and most of the ticket sellers have issued official “wait for more info” statements. So hold tight; it may take some time to figure this one out.
In the meantime keep checking out this site that has so conveniently started to aggregate the statements and updates on refunds from various outlets. Michael Jackson Refund Updates