Ultra Music Festival was one of the first festivals anywhere to succumb to the mass of cancellations due to the novel coronavirus COVID-19. In the days following the cancellation headlines, the festival caught the ire of ticketholders for its restrictive refund policy, in that there wasn’t one. Ticketholders were offered the options of transferring their tickets to either 2021 or 2022, as well as “exclusive access” to buy even more tickets, though at reduced prices.
Understandably, this made many fans mad, many of whom have lost jobs due to COVID-19 and could desperately use the money spent on tickets to a festival that wasn’t going to happen. Now, the festival is facing a class action lawsuit regarding the policy.
The suit, reports Rolling Stone, “alleges Ultra’s refund policy is unjust and inequitable and that its conversion from the refund ‘damaged Plaintiffs and the Class in the amount that they paid for 2020 festival tickets.’”
Somewhat respectfully, the suit “seeks damages and monetary relief for the plaintiffs and class, and/or refund ticket holders the cash they paid for their tickets in full.”
The suit was brought forth by two plaintiffs, Miami resident Samuel Hernandez, who bought six tickets for $3,000, and Richard Montoure of Grayland, Washington, who also inquired about a cash refund but claimed he never received a response from Ultra. According to the suit, Hernandez inquired about a refund and was directed to the email instructions before claiming the deferral benefit on two of his tickets on May 20th, but not on the other four.
“We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every part of the global economy but we do not believe that gives the Ultra Music Festival the right to shift the burden of this extraordinary crisis onto its customers, who, in some cases, paid hundreds of dollars to attend this festival and now the COVID-19 pandemic has or will preclude them from ever using any credit,” Joe Sauder of Sauder Schelkopf LLC, which is representing the plaintiffs in the case, said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “We look forward to seeking to recover cash refunds for our clients and the class members.”