Due to the time of the year when Ultra Music Festival takes place in Miami, it was one of the first few festivals to get cancelled due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Considering it was one of the first to be cancelled as well, attendees didn’t really know what to expect.
The festival that was supposed to be held March 20, 21 and 22, 2020 was then postponed to March 26, 27 and 28, 2021. While many considered this as them cancelling the 2020 edition all together for all practical purposes, Ultra said they were ‘postponing’ it and said no refunds would be issued but tickets would be valid for 2021 or 2022 editions instead. This enraged a number of ticket holders for rightful reasons. While many have lost their jobs during these trying times, blocking many hundreds, in lots of cases thousands of dollars for something that might happen a year or two into the future surely wasn’t what they signed up for.
As reported by Rolling Stone, the suit which was filed by Florida residents Samuel Hernandez and Richard Montoure this Tuesday at the U.S. District Court’s Southern District of Florida alleges Ultra’s refund policy is unjust and inequitable and that its conversion from the refund “damaged Plaintiffs and the Class in the amount that they paid for 2020 festival tickets.” The suit seeks damages and monetary relief for the plaintiffs and class, and/or refund ticket holders the cash they paid for their tickets in full.
According to Ultra’s refund policy per its terms and conditions, Ultra reserves the right to issue a full or partial refund or not issue one at all. It also specifies that if an event is cancelled for reasons out of Ultra’s control, such as government action, the company can, at its own discretion “issue purchaser full or partial refund,” postpone the event for a future date and/or offer the purchaser a comparable “make good.” To this, the suit argues that a year-long reschedule is simply a cancellation and not really a postponement.
Joe Sauder of Sauder Schelkopf LLC, which is representing the plaintiffs in the case, said in a statement to Rolling Stone, “We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every part of the global economy but we do not believe that gives the Ultra Music Festival the right to shift the burden of this extraordinary crisis onto its customers, who, in some cases, paid hundreds of dollars to attend this festival and now the COVID-19 pandemic has or will preclude them from ever using any credit. We look forward to seeking to recover cash refunds for our clients and the class members.”