PublishedTue, 17 Mar 2020, 20:45
- In the grip of the coronavirus pandemic, we need to support our scene.
The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) is disrupting human life around the world. While serious illness and loss of life are the main tragedy of this virus, it is taking an economic toll as well, eliminating people's ability to make a living in a vast range of industries and communities.
Electronic music is no exception. Club nights and festivals are being cancelled or postponed in huge numbers to slow the spread of the virus. In some countries, all businesses other than grocery stores and pharmacies have been forced to close. Everyone affected by these events, including record shops, record labels, artists, agents, promoters and the innumerable staff who work on the door, behind the bar and elsewhere at clubs and festivals, simply don't know how they'll pay their bills in the months ahead. If these people and organisations can't stay afloat in the short term, there won't be a scene for us to enjoy in the future.
The next few months will be incredibly difficult for everyone. Artists and the people who book them won't be able to sustain such losses. Venues across the world face a situation where they have fixed costs—rent, mortgages, business rates, staff and all the other expenses that go into running a nightclub—and no upcoming events to pay those bills. It's the same bleak picture for promoters and festivals, which are just as exposed by the crisis. Many face financial ruin.
We understand that countless people around the world are facing similar challenges right now, and that many are more vulnerable than the people we're describing here. We are not asking you to prioritize our community over any other. But we feel a natural responsibility to support our scene, and we hope that you, as an RA reader, feel the same.
With all this in mind we have carefully considered our approach to refunding tickets to cancelled and postponed events.
Help save our scene: skip your refund
In these extraordinary circumstances, we are asking those who can afford it to not request a refund for cancelled events. The money will go to the promoters who organised the event, which will help keep our scene afloat. Promoters are an essential part of club culture—they bring in the artists you see every weekend. They generally work with narrow margins, and many are only a few bad parties away from going under. By not claiming a refund, you're making a donation to help save our scene. We'd like to reiterate: you should only consider forgoing your refund if you're in the financial position to do so.
What about postponed events?
Many promoters are working on other initiatives that will help their cause, including postponing events. By transferring your ticket to a future date, you're helping clubs, promoters and festivals stay afloat. For these instances, we will be confirming the process with ticket buyers over the coming weeks.
Can I get a refund to an event cancelled as a result of COVID-19?
Starting today, you'll be able to receive a refund for the events tagged below without contacting our support team. Once the event organiser has authorised refunds, the process is simple. Go to your order detail page for that event. If the event has been cancelled as a result of COVID-19, click the "refund tickets" button. Your refund request will be processed immediately. You should get your money back in about three to five business days.
Which cancelled events are eligible?
We are working with promoters to bring their events into this process as quickly as possible. Below you will see a list of events that are already offering this solution. Due to the sheer volume, we've stopped adding to the below list. Ticket buyers will continue to be informed via email directly.
What happens to the booking fee?
RA is an independent company. Due to the huge increase in costs, support and infrastructure required to handle thousands of cancelled events throughout the world, we need to retain the full booking fee, in line with our terms. We are using this money to cover the costs of providing our ticket services—our staff, the infrastructure for 24/7 support and the payment card-processing fees that we incur on each transaction (both the original as well as the refund). We understand that we are not the only ones attempting to navigate challenges during this crisis. If you cannot afford for us to retain this booking fee or strongly disagree with our course of action, please contact us and we will refund your booking fee in full.
We want to hear from you
This is an utterly unprecedented situation, and we at RA are still trying to make sense of it. We'll continue to do our best to act in the best interests of the dance music community and our staff. We're sharing community support efforts related to electronic music here. If you're aware of other initiatives that are not included in this piece, please send them to us. And if you have any feedback or ideas for how we can work together on this or other projects, we want to hear from you. Contact us at [email protected]