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A new ruling means Finnish audiences can demand a refund

There’s nothing worse than a disappointing gig, right?
Well the Finnish Consumer Disputes Board agrees, which is why they’ve ruled in favour of a case that entitles music fans to a refund if a concert doesn’t meet their standards.

In 2013, Chuck Berry played a concert in Helsinki and disappointed fans. He blamed it on fatigue alongside flu-like symptoms and even apologised about it from the stage. A fan felt like he deserved a refund and the Finnish Consumer Disputes Board- or Kuluttajariitalautakunta to their friends- agreed, ruling the fan should receive a 50% refund.

Obviously there are rules, as spokesperson Pauli Ståhlberg explains. “Anyone seeking a ruling like this is always spurred by a subjective opinion, but that’s not enough to get a refund. What is significant is a generally agreed view that the concert was a failure, as it was in the Chuck Berry case.”

If the performer is drunk or ill, then that’s grounds for a refund but this doesn’t apply to festivals. “It’s not at all unusual at rock festivals that some artists are high,” continues Ståhlberg. “And that doesn’t even necessarily affect the quality of their performances. There are numerous different performers at a festival and so it have to be evaluated as a whole. Even the marching order affects perception of the overall quality. A failed performance by a featured star is a bigger deal for consumers than one by a warm-up band.”

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