Finland: Refunds for disappointing concerts

By News from Elsewhere... found by BBC Monitoring

image copyrightAFP
image captionSome ticket-holders were left disappointed by a Chuck Berry show in Helsinki in 2013

Finnish music fans who are left disappointed by a sub-par live performance can now get a refund, it's reported.

A landmark decision by the country's Consumer Disputes Board means music fans can ask for their money back if an artist's performance is well below what they reasonably expected, the national broadcaster Yle reports. It follows a complaint by a Chuck Berry fan, who saw the rock and roll pioneer perform in Helsinki in 2013. Berry, who is now 88 years old, seemed unwell during the concert, and apologised to fans while on stage. The consumer body decided that the event's organiser should refund 50% of the ticket price.

But it isn't as simple as just not enjoying a performance, according the board's chairman, Paul Stahlberg. "Anyone seeking a ruling like this is always spurred by a subjective opinion, but that's not enough to get a refund," he tells Yle. "What is significant is a generally agreed view that the concert was a failure, as it was in the Chuck Berry case."

While refunds are standard practice for cancelled concerts, it's rare that fans can expect to be reimbursed when one goes ahead. In 2008, singer Neil Diamond offered refunds to 11,000 fans who attended a show in Ohio, during which he sounded hoarse. Many ticket-holders walked out when it became apparent Diamond was unwell. The singer was subsequently diagnosed with acute laryngitis, and cancelled two concerts later that week.

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