Thousands of fans of pop star Olly Murs have been left upset and out of pocket after two of his tour dates were cancelled because the concerts' promoter ceased trading.
The singer expressed his dismay at the cancellations on Twitter: "I'm so gutted for my fans in Exeter and Bournemouth. Although it's out of my control I'm still so sorry and hope I can get to see you all soon!"
The concerts were due to take place on Saturday 29 July at Powderham Castle in Exeter, and Saturday 5 August at Kings Park in Bournemouth. Tickets cost from £39.50 for the Bournemouth show and from £43.50 for the Exeter gig.
The promoter, Stephen C Associates Limited, issued a statement on Wednesday which said: "We deeply regret to inform you that the company Stephen C Associates Limited has ceased to trade. It is insolvent and is expected to go into liquidation shortly."
I've bought tickets – how do I get my money back?
Whether you'll get your money back depends on how you bought your ticket and who you bought it from – but here's what to try:
- First, contact the ticket seller. Different sellers are adopting different policies. Gigantic, for instance, has said it will give all customers a face-value refund, with the money being put back on their payment cards within the next 10 days. However, another seller, The Ticket Factory, says as it has passed money from ticket sales to the promoter it is unable to issue refunds and will only refund fees it charged for processing.
The Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers says a ticket seller should normally refund the ticket's face value but doesn't have to if it's already paid the event organiser or promoter. We've contacted the Chartered Trading Standards Institute to check what your rights are if a retailer refuses a refund and will update this story when we hear back.
It's not currently clear if the promoter directly sold tickets, but if it did and you bought one, you'll need to register as a creditor – see how below.
- Try your card provider. If you paid on a credit card and your booking cost £100 or more, you may be able to claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act – it means credit card firms are jointly liable with retailers if something goes wrong, so you may be able to get a refund. See our Section 75 guide for full info.
If you paid on a debit card, or spent under £100 and paid on a Visa or Mastercard debit, credit or prepaid card, or an Amex credit or charge card, Section 75 doesn't apply. However, you may be able to claim under the chargeback scheme, where your bank gets your cash back from the retailer's bank if something goes wrong. This is not a legal requirement, it's a customer service promise, though it's worth trying. See our Chargeback guide for full help.
- Can't get a refund from a ticket seller or via your card provider? Register as a creditor. This is worth trying if you can't get a refund from the ticket seller, or if you bought direct from the promoter. The promoter has said it can't refund ticket holders due to a lack of funds, so registering as a creditor is your only recourse. Unfortunately though, customers are often last in the queue for refunds when a firm goes insolvent, ie, cannot pay its debts – see our Company Administration guide for more info.
To lodge a claim in the liquidation – ie, when a company's assets are used to pay off its debts – the promoter says you should complete this form and email it to the intended liquidators, Herron Fisher, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Booked for the Exeter gig? Watch out for help from the Earl and Countess of Devon too... The Earl and Countess, who own Powderham Castle, have said they're "looking at ways to make a gesture" for those who have bought tickets. They have advised people to keep an eye on their website for announcements.