Henry Johnstone, Sydney - Australia - on 16/3/12
The NSW festival Playground Weekender was cancelled this year due to a severe weather warning from the State Emergency Services. Now it seems that the festival is struggling to cope with refunds. A Statement from the organisers of the festival reads:
The organisers (Playground Festivals Pty Ltd) behind the Playground Weekender, Australia’s best-loved boutique festival – would like to be as transparent as possible regarding the refund process for ticketholders following the cancellation of the festival which was due to take place at Wiseman’s Ferry NSW, on March 2nd - 4th 2012.
Since the four gigs were held at the Beach Road Hotel, Metro Theatre and the UNSW to replace festivities at the Del Rio Riverside Resort, the promoters have been trying to recover as much of the money that had been spent on setting up the festival as possible. The organisers would still like to try and offer refunds to all ticket holders but are keen to manage people’s expectations in that this will be a difficult and lengthy process given the rate of progress so far.
With 36 hours until the event was due to go ahead, people had bought tickets, the festival site was booked, the stages had been built, the toilets were plumbed, the tents were up and the power was on. In addition, the artists had been paid for, flown in and were checked in to their hotels. Then the flood warnings came. In excess of $1M had been spent before the festival had even commenced and was sadly, not covered for natural disasters.
Six years of significant financial outlay, time, effort and love has been ploughed in to the event – and having written off more than $1.5 in investment and loans to the previous company to give the festival a stable future, a natural disaster is not something a small business such as Playground Festivals Pty Ltd, has been able to cope with.
What this means for ticket holders
PayPal: We have been looking at ways to proceed to achieve a positive outcome. If the ticket holder is protected under PayPal’s Buyer Protection policy, then we understand that the ticket holder has 45 days from the date of the transaction to file a “dispute” online with PayPal.
In order to be protected under the PayPal Buyer Protection policy, amongst other things, the payment must be made through a PayPal account (and not directly from a credit card processed through PayPal website’s Payments Pro or Virtual Terminal service). We understand PayPal’s Buyer Protection policy only extends to tangible goods, electronic tickets delivered by email are not tangible goods. However, under the Buyer Protection Policy PayPal may in its discretion cover electronic tickets that have been physically printed and shipped.
In any event, we suggest that ticketholders contact PayPal now to formally advise PayPal the cancellation of the festival and file a “dispute” if they are eligible.
Credit cards: Ticket holders who paid by credit card directly should also contact their bank or credit card provider to lodge a dispute that they have not received what they have paid for. A refund may be available under the relevant credit card policies.
GreenTix: refunded those who paid by Credit Card on Friday 9th March.
Andy Rigby, Playground Weekender Promoter, comments:
“This is an absolutely devastating situation, one that we are still struggling to comprehend. There has been a number of rumours circulating over the last few days and we want to be as up front and honest as possible, whilst at the same time exploring all avenues to give you the most accurate information and best possible outcome. Unfortunately this has taken a little while and I’m not sure there is a positive end in sight.”
The three-day festival was unable to go ahead on advice of the State Emergency Services and NSW Police in relation to the flood risks presented by the dangerous levels of the Warragamba Dam, which led to the evacuation of thousands of residents along the Hawkesbury River, including the Del Rio Riverside Resort.”
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