Rubbish gig in Finland? You can now ask for your money back

Concerts that fall 'well below reasonably expected standards' can be refunded

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The Independent Culture

Gig-goers in Finland can now get a 50 per cent refund if a live music performance is disappointing, thanks to a new law.

The country's groundbreaking decision was made after a fan demanded his money back following a Chuck Berry concert in Helsinki in 2013, arguing that the rock'n'roll pioneer "seemed fatigued". The singer was clearly unwell and later apologised.

After a review, Finland's Consumer Disputes Board ruled last Friday that ticket-holders can request refunds if a show is "well below reasonably expected standards".

Board chairman Pauli Stahlberg made it clear that subjective opinion will not be enough and that a gig will have to be considered bad by the majority of attendees. Otherwise, things could get messy quickly.

"What is significant is a generally agreed view that the concert was a failure, as it was in the Chuck Berry case," he told Finnish broadcaster Yle, adding that the most important factor is whether it "meets the consumer's expectations".

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Chuck Berry collapsed on stage due to ill health in 2013

Stahlberg said that intoxication as well as illness could also be a cause for a refund, but was careful to point out that it "doesn't necessarily affect the quality of their performances".

Music festivals will be an exception as a vast range of acts contribute to the ticket price and enforcing the law would be too difficult.

"There are numerous different performers at a festival and so it has to be evaluated as a whole," Stahlberg added. "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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