All your usual consumer rights and protections apply to ticketed events, just like any other goods or services you purchase, but there are some things you can do to further protect yourself.
The best way to buy tickets is to:
- only purchase from the authorised ticket seller
- consider paying by credit card. If something goes wrong you may be able to get a charge back from your bank or financial institution. Contact your bank for further information
- don’t make any online payments unless you’re on a secure website.
- make sure you read and understand the terms and conditions of sale, the returns and refund policy, and the delivery details
- know the full cost, including any currency conversion, taxes, postage, delivery fees and packaging
Be wary of buying tickets to events that:
- have no venue announced
- only provide limited contact details
- have only tentative dates
- have unusual payment processes (such as no official ticketing agent, requesting cash only, EFT transfers)
- have received lots of complaints or bad reviews online.
- have not confirmed a line up of performers
Some events are very popular and sell out quickly, so not everyone who wants a ticket will be able to get one.
Despite this, we strongly recommend you only buy tickets from the authorised seller.
If you buy tickets from someone other than the authorised seller, you:
- risk breaching ticket scalping laws
- may find your ticket is invalid, is not accepted when you attempt to enter the venue, or does not arrive at all
- are not guaranteed the same protections you have when buying from the authorised seller.
The price of tickets is not regulated. Ticket resale websites provide a forum for transactions, but do not regulate the resale prices of tickets. Prices are set by those reselling the tickets.
For events at major Queensland venues, it is illegal to resell or buy a ticket at a price greater than 10% above the original ticket price.
The Stadiums Queensland website lists the venues where these ticket scalping rules apply.
You can report ticket scalping to the Queensland Police Service.
Significantly changed event
If the event goes ahead but is significantly different from what was advertised, ticket-holders may also have a right to a refund on the grounds that a reasonable consumer would otherwise not have agreed to buy the ticket in the first place, had they known the line-up or any other important feature would significantly change.
A consumer may also claim compensation from the business for consequential losses, which may include travel costs. If you have suffered a financial loss due to a festival or event being cancellation, such as cancelling your flights or accommodation, contact your ticketing agent first.
You have the right to a refund if you bought a ticket to a cancelled event. This applies even if the terms and conditions on the ticket say that you can’t get a refund. This is an illegal statement, because your consumer rights do apply.
If an event's date changes or if there is a significant venue change after you’ve bought your ticket, and this change means that you can’t use your ticket, you may be entitled to a refund .
Some event organisers are members of Live Performance Australia (LPA). LPA members must follow a code of practice for ticketing. This includes holding all ticketing money in a separate account, which they can’t access until after the event. This speeds up the refund process if an event is cancelled.
Most LPA events have conditions that limit your rights if you buy your ticket from an unauthorised re-seller (a ‘ticket scalper’). The organiser may even cancel your tickets.
If you bought a ticket to an event and it did not go ahead as promoted, you may have the right to a full or partial refund.
This might be because:
- a headline act doesn’t perform
- the promoter didn’t have a liquor licence that they claimed they would
- the event isn’t open to all ages, even though the promoter said it would be.
For further information on Festivals and pop-up events visit http://consumerlaw.gov.au/Events/
You can also report future pop-up events that you see being promoted in your area to bit.ly/PopUpEventRegister