LIVE NATION AC/DC FINE DOESN'T ADD UP 24th March 2017
Spanish authorities have fined AC/DC concert promoters Live Nation for allegedly refusing to issue ticket refunds to fans who didn't want to see the band with Axl Rose as lead vocalist last year.
Brian Johnson had to step down from the multi-platinum selling group in March 2016 on doctor's orders due to hearing problems and the band recruited the Guns N' Roses frontman to fill the Geordie singer's boots. This initially caused a relatively small number of AC/DC fans to voice complaints and the band subsequently offered refunds to any fans who did not want to attend concerts they had bought tickets for.
Live Nation backed AC/DC's offer, including for the concert in question, the May 10th 2016 show in Seville, but apparently, reportedly and allegedly stopped taking refund requests after just three days due to high demand and now Live Nation have been fined €15,000 by The General Directorate of Economy and Commerce of the City of Seville.
Unfortunately-named Spanish consumer protection organization FACUA are the ones who are claiming "high demand" as the reason Live Nation stopped issuing refunds. In a translated statement, FACUA claim that:
"FACUA announced the company's commitment on April 26. But, overwhelmed by the requests, the promoter informed the association by email on May 1 (Sunday and public holiday, so Monday was also not workable in much of the country) that on day 3 closed the deadline for processing returns."
The statement continues:
"An unexpected decision that at first did not warn and that caused a multitude of users, surprised and without any room for maneuver, were from that very moment with the refusal of Live Nation to address: 'We regret to inform you that we have stopped serving the Requests for reimbursement,' the company replied to some fans. Others, they warned FACUA, did not even get a response to their writings, despite having been remitted many of them even before May 3."
However, something does not add up here because the "high demand" for refunds and the "multitude of users" does not tie-in at all with our experiences of last year's 'Rock Or Bust' World Tour as it is factual that only a negligible percentage of fans asked for refunds and those tickets that were refunded were all resold very quickly afterwards.
Every single show on the tour was either sold out, or very close to sold out, and it is inconceivable that Live Nation were left with a substantial amount of unsold tckets on their hands, or that they were anywhere near to incurring a loss on this show which was part of one of the biggest grossing tours in rock history.
Live Nation's Spanish offices are in Barcelona, however The Catalan Consumer Agency have decided not to fine, which may or may not be telling.
We've found some fan filmed footage of the Sevilla gig and although it is impossible to gauge how close to sold out this concert was, it is fairly obvious that it was very well attended, as you can see for yourself here.
We find it impossible to believe that Seville is an isolated case from this hugely successful tour and totally dismiss the "high demand" claims as laughable. Failure by FACUA to quantify numbers adds weight to our beliefs.
We also find it impossible to believe that Live Nation, a company with a solid reputation, would 'pull a fast one' to the tune of this amount, a paltry sum compared to their overall tour earnings.
FACUA have encouraged people to pursue claims, stating:
"FACUA warns affected users that they can still claim the return of their money. They only have to file a claim for amounts in court, for which there is no compulsory assistance of attorney or attorney. The Civil Code establishes a period of 5 years to submit claims for breach of contract."
Numbers of claimees will be available on public record and will either back-up or destroy our theory, although we may have to wait until 2022 to discover the truth.
Live Nation have so far made no comment.
AC/DC are expected to name Axl Rose as permanent singer, along with a new bass player to take the place of Cliff Williams who retired at the end of the 'Rock Or Bust' World Tour plus future touring and recording plans at some point before 2018.