Can you get a refund on an event cancelled due to COVID-19?

Here’s some advice on what to do if you’ve bought a ticket to an event that has been cancelled due to coronavirus.

If you have has an event cancelled, please share your experience below.


On March 25 2019, I bought 2 tickets from Ticketek online, for the Cirque Du Soleil show, at a cost of $300 total, to be performed on Sat 28th March 2020 - that is just over a year before the show was due to run.
Due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, the show was postponed, and I received an email from Cirque Du Soleil saying that the show would be run later in the year, when the restrictions would be lifted.
I contacted them a few weeks later via a phone call to Canada where they are based, and told them that it was highly unlikely they would be allowed into the country anytime this year, and that I would like a full refund.
They said they couldn’t give a refund, as I bought the tickets off Ticketek Australia, and not Cirque Du Soleil.
I have contacted Ticketek after a difficult and convoluted process, and asked for a full refund, and they have replied with an email that I should hold on to my tickets, and when Cirque Du Soleil comes to Australia, I can go ahead and see the show.
This is totally unreasonable and unacceptable to me. It is quite probable that it will be another 12 months from 28th March 2020 when the show is up and running, that is, if at all. That will be 2 years from when I initially bought the tickets.
My question is “Can someone please advise me of my legal rights, or the process I should follow in order to be able to receive a full refund, that I believe that I am entitled to, under the circumstances.”


Hi @Airsie,

I hope the Choice statement above will be helpful, and this topic is most appropriate for your post.

There is another longer topic that is more diverse that might also be helpful.


Thanks Phil for your prompt response. Much appreciated.
I meant to mention that the show was to be held in Melbourne Victoria where I live.
There seems to be a slight difference with consumer law between NSW and Victoria.
Ticketek have stated that the show was not cancelled, but merely postponed, presumably to avoid having to refund the ticket costs.
From what I read in the article above, I think I will go ahead, after reviewing any comments from you, that I will ask Ticketek for a full refund under ACL and that Consumer Affairs Victoria have advised me that I am entitled to a full refund, even though the event was postponed due to the Coronavirus crisis.
Ticketek would have sold tickets to many other shows that have been postponed, an one can imagine how much interest they must be getting off the ticket funds, for doing absolutely nothing.


Ask for a refund under their own T&Cs. You are entitled to a refund if an event is rescheduled by the Seller…which in your case has occurred.

See clause 1 under Refunds, exchanges and replacements. Clause 2 says you can only receive the value of the tickets as a refund…no further compensation such as accommodation, travel etc,

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How so? I was under the impression that the ACL was consistent across the country. Regardless, Vic posts

If an event cannot go ahead due to COVID-19, consumers are entitled to a refund for any services not provided. Organisers may deduct reasonable expenses they have already incurred from any refund. Organisers should have clear refund policies and processes in place, to ensure they meet their obligations.

On that basis Ticketek is following their standard protocols. While this is often the case, when a promoter reschedules an event it is neither possible or reasonable to expect every ticket holder can attend, especially when it is open ended as you noted and could be years out, again.

From the Choice statement

Ticketek has a clause in its terms and conditions (known as a force majeure clause) saying that ticket holders are not guaranteed a refund if people are unable to attend due to the outbreak of disease, but Consumer Action Law Centre CEO Gerard Brody has advised ticket holders to demand a refund in any event, since big ticketing companies like Ticketek are members of Live Performance Australia, which has advised its members to provide refunds.

And Ticketek has said it will provide refunds.

Now, after all that ‘information’, Check this page to see how to get your refund but you may have to wait until it is rescheduled, but nothing ventured. I trust it might be as straightforward as it appears and in the worst case the new dates announced sooner than later.

Please let us know how it goes, Cheers


Bugger…didn’t read that far down. They do have some grounds for refund in the table below the Coronavirus section…but evidence is needed to substantiate the claim.

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I’d just like to thank Phil (The BBG), and “phb” for their very quick, help and guidance in this issue with Ticketek that I have. I really appreciated the amount of time and effort they both put into the research they did, and incorporated most of it in my email of request for a full credit.
I took the liberty of adding at the conclusion of the email, that “Consumer Affairs Victoria, and Choice Consumer Organisation have expressed an interest in the outcome”.


Hi @Airsie, let us know how you get on.


Renato (Ticketek)

May 12, 2020, 9:00:09 AM GMT+10

Hi Brian,
Thank you for your reply.
We understand that when the new date is announced, you already know that you will be unable to attend.
As mentioned, the decision to provide the refund does not lie with Ticketek. We must await a confirmed rescheduled date or notification of cancellation that a new date was unable to be secured from the promoter in order to process your refund, per our Terms and Conditions.
We will keep your request on hold with us until we are notified by the promoter of a new date or cancellation of Kurios and will process your refund at that point.
We appreciate your understanding and will action your request as soon as possible.
Online Support


And in the interim is Ticketek holding all of the monies collected from the advance ticket sales? The promoter usually gets zero until they have turned up and delivered. The booking office/venue usually holds all the funds until the show is delivered, and are entitled to their fee from the sales. Well, at least that is how it is supposed to work. Just in case the promoter fails to turn up and runs off with all the ticket sales.

It all sounds very dodgy putting you off given we think we know where the money is hidden.


If one reads their COVID-19 T&C, as I suspected,

so they are not going to issue refunds until an event is formally rescheduled or cancelled and the ticket holder cannot attend on those/that dates. At that time a claim for refund will be accepted and processed.

@Airsie has essentially stated he cannot attend any future date, not the date, and while that is a reasonable position the promoters are losing out also, thus they can be depended on to hold money as long as possible.


It does sound dodgy…Ticketek doesn’t even know if a future event will be scheduled…but holding one’s money on the off chance it is. It is holding ones money for ransom. What happens if the next event rescheduled for say 5 or 10 years?


I think it is unfair and unreasonable, that I can’t get a full refund. I get the feeling I have been dudded.

If Ticketek had said in their Terms and Conditions, at the time I bought the 2 tickets, that if the show was not held on the 28th March as planned, I may have to wait for an indefinite period of time to get my money back, I wouldn’t have bought the tickets in the first place.


I am very pleased to advise the I have received a FULL REFUND for Cirque Du Soleil show tickets bought directly from Ticketek.
There was no deduction for credit card fees, as the total amount refunded of $304.00 was the credit card debit, when the tickets were bought over 14 months ago.
In the last letter sent to Ticketek requesting a full refund, I advised them that I would like the request for a full credit escalated to a senior manager for serious consideration, (which they did), and amongst other things that Consumer Affairs Victoria, and Choice Consumer Organisation, were interested in the outcome of a request for a full credit, as I was entitled to under Australian Consumer Law.
I believe these statements helped me get a refund as this process has been difficult and protracted, with a lot of kicking and struggling from both Ticketek and Cirque Du Soleil.
I would like to thank Brendan Mays, The BBG, phb, and mark_m for their help and advice which was very much appreciated, and without their help the refund would not have been possible.
While I understand that the original posting was rightly shifted to “Covid-19 Event Cancellations”, there will be very few Choice members, apart from the aforementioned above, who would be able to benefit from my experience, as they wouldn’t know the thread existed.


Thank you for the update about your great outcome.

You are very welcome :slight_smile:

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That’s the best outcome. Thanks for sharing the experience.

Based on the feedback from others in the family who have been to their performances, Cirque is definitely on our short term bucket list when it returns. And it will likely mean travel plus accommodation costs. Hopefully without any unplanned events.


Yes Mark, we have been to 3 Cirque shows, and each one was different and absolutely breathtaking. We live in Central Victoria, so had to book a hotel in Melbourne for the night, and they gladly refunded our booking fee.
Leave it on your bucket list for sure.



I understand that this is an old conversation, but I am also having a lot of trouble trying to get a refund for my Cirque tickets. I spent over $700 and have no heard anything back about a refund.

Can someone help me please?

Thanks in advance


Welcome to the community @oriana

Starting from the start of this topic should provide you with various avenues to follow.

If you were ticketed for an Australian show, it is important for you to be formal, reference the ACCC on your rights, and keep records.

From their website they have put themselves into a neverland whereby they have not cancelled shows per se, just suspended them in the anticipation that at some unknown date they will resume.

and for Melbourne shows they note

If you were ticketed for a NZ show your situation is subject to NZ laws regarding your consumer rights.

Lastly, do not wait for a reply when one has not been forthcoming in a timely manner. Many businesses depend on people ‘going away’ or waiting until their statutory time limits expire to make claims or chargebacks.

I trust this can be helpful.