Splendour attendees impacted by new under-18s ticketing rule may be entitled to refunds

“Consumer protection laws should provide the impacted ticket holder to obtain redress,” says a spokesperson for NSW Fair Trading

Earlier this week, Splendour In The Grass ticketholders under the age of 18 were advised that due to an update to the terms of the festival’s liquor license, they will only be allowed through the gates if accompanied by an adult. Now, it’s been said that those affected by the new rule may be entitled to a refund.

Speaking to The Guardian, a spokesperson for NSW Fair Trading cited the state’s consumer protection laws as grounds for entitlement to a refund. “Generally, if there are subsequent changes to terms and conditions after purchase that would prevent the purchaser from attending the event, consumer protection laws should provide the impacted ticket holder to obtain redress,” the unnamed spokesperson told the publication.

“In these circumstances, NSW Fair Trading encourages the organiser to work cooperatively with affected consumers.”

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In the statement shared by Splendour In The Grass on Monday (July 11), it is not specified whether refunds will be offered to ticketholders affected by the new restrictions. Stressing to punters that such a move was “not Splendour’s decision”, the statement advised underaged ticketholders to purchase tickets for their legal guardians, and noted that “considerable fines may apply” if those attendees did not comply with the new rule.

According to the festival’s official terms and conditions, “no refunds will be provided on tickets except as required by law and/or as specified by the Live Performance Australia Ticketing Code of Practice“.

NME has reached out to Splendour In The Grass for clarification on whether refunds will be offered to those affected by the new restrictions.

As The Guardian pointed out, underaged Splendour-goers who are unable to purchase a new ticket for their guardian are no longer able to list their tickets on Splendour’s official resale facility. The facility closed for sellers at 11:59pm on Monday, just over seven hours after the festival’s new restrictions were announced.

Having officially sold out months ago, that facility is the only official way for prospective punters to buy tickets for Splendour 2022; it closes for buyers at 11:59pm next Monday (July 18).

In their statement, Splendour’s organisers claimed they were only advised of the changes to their liquor license last Thursday (July 7). However, The Guardian also pointed out that in September of 2019 – two months after the most recent edition of Splendour took place – all existing terms regarding the sale of alcohol, as per the established music festival licence scheme, became invalid. From then, festival organisers would need to apply for a new liquor license on an event-by-event basis.

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According to a spokesperson for the NSW Independent Liquor And Gaming Authority, the new terms imposed on Splendour are “consistent with the requirements in the Liquor Act 2007 for other licensed premises”.

In a statement offered to The Guardian, the spokesperson – also unnamed – said: “The condition for minors to be accompanied by a responsible adult was imposed by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority to address the specific safety risks for a festival of this size and type, with a patron capacity of around 50,000 and bars and other outlets selling alcohol spread throughout the festival’s grounds.

“To provide a safe environment for all festival-goers, it is vital that proper measures are in place to prevent minors consuming alcohol.”

Splendour In The Grass 2022 is slated to go ahead at the North Byron Parklands in Wooyung next week, running across the weekend of July 22-24.

It marks the festival’s first in-person edition since 2019, having been postponed four times in the last two years; it was first slated for July 2020, before being pushed back to that October, then to July 2021, and then November 2021. A virtual edition of the festival, Splendour XR, was held in July 2021. The final update to the schedule came last August, before the full line-up was announced in November.

Headlined by GorillazThe Strokes and Tyler, The Creator, this year’s line-up features Liam Gallagher, Glass Animals and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, among others. Late additions include Tasman Keith and Pond, who joined the bill after Adrian Eagle, Mako Road and Surfaces withdrew. Set times for the festival arrived last week.

Outside of the festival itself, there will be over 65 sideshows held throughout July, with the likes of Yungblud, Jack Harlow, Liam Gallagher, Mura Masa, Oliver Tree and Sofi Tukker turning their Splendour trips into full-scale national tours. The bulk of the sideshows were announced back in February, with support acts confirmed in May.

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