Live Performance Australia (LPA) has released an updated Ticketing Code of Practice, which includes new guidance on consumers’ rights when an event is affected by a cause outside of the organiser’s control, such as the disruption caused by COVID-19 during 2020.
The eighth edition of the Ticketing Code of Practice (the ‘Ticketing Code’) will come into force from 1 January 2021. The Code is a comprehensive and robust framework that sets out expectations for industry best practice and ensures that consumers are treated fairly. LPA has consulted with the ACCC on revisions to the Code.
“While the unprecedented disruption to live performance events caused by COVID-19 was the impetus for the Code update, it is also designed to address future circumstances beyond the current pandemic,” said LPA Chief Executive Evelyn Richardson.
“We never previously had to envisage a situation where our entire industry was shut down across the country and globally for months on end, due to circumstances beyond our control, such as the public health response to the global pandemic.”
“As we transition to living and working in a COVID-normal world, we obviously need to anticipate the possibility of more disruptions in the future, although they are more likely in the form of targeted and localised restrictions to contain any coronavirus outbreaks,” said Ms Richardson.
The updated Ticketing Code includes a new part dealing with cancelled, rescheduled or significantly relocated events due to ‘intervening circumstances’. The Code sets out the expectations regarding conduct and representations, communications to consumers, indicative timeframes for announcing new dates for postponed events, possible remedies, and timeframes for offering refunds.
“Our industry has faced incredible challenges this year in responding to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ms Richardson. “Venues were forced to close overnight, and performances had to be cancelled or rescheduled despite ongoing uncertainty about the duration and severity of public health restrictions in different jurisdictions.”
“Our Members have worked diligently on the rescheduling of events or processing of refunds amidst great uncertainty about when they can resume live performance events.”
“We thank our audiences for their patience during this period, and also acknowledge the many ticket holders who have donated their ticket refunds to live performance companies in a gesture of support during this very difficult time for our performers, production crews and venues,” said said Ms Richardson.