Australian touring festival The Drop has asked punters for patience and support as it remains unable to provide refunds to ticketholders some five months after it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, its Sydney leg was cancelled a day before the event was scheduled to take place after the federal government recommended all non-essential gatherings of 500 people or more be cancelled on March 13. Its three other remaining dates – in Coolangatta, Torquay and Busselton – were subsequently cancelled as well.
Since then, ticketholders have regularly taken to the festival’s social media pages to request clarification on when they will be receiving refunds for the cancelled events.
Having provided updates in both May and June advising ticketholders that they were unable to provide a hard date for refunds to be available, festival organisers issued a new statement today (August 11).
“We are getting closer to resolving our refund cases with our insurers, but unfortunately still have no set time frame we can share, which is killing us as much as it does you guys,” wrote organisers. They went on to say that they had been told by insurers that due to the unprecedented amount of claims they are working through, processing times are taking “an accordingly long period to be resolved”. As such, organisers said it could take months before their claim was settled and refunds were made available.
“For transparency, and so as to clear any commentary we have been receiving with the notion that we may be sitting on the proceeds from sales and should be able to refund immediately – this, unfortunate, is inaccurate,” they said.
Organisers say that they’ve been uniquely impacted due to the timing of the Manly event’s cancellation by Northern Beaches Council. They say that by the time of its cancellation, the festival site had already been built – with infrastructure in place, bars and food stocked, talent booked, event management and more paid for in advance.
The festival says that those expenses, along with similar costs for the other three events, “equate[d] to a financial exposure that left [them] vulnerable” to the impacts of COVID-related closures.
According to organisers, it is these combined costs they are seeking claims for against their insurers, and that the scope of those costs render them unable to issue refunds before insurance claims are resolved.
As with previous updates, the festival’s latest post has been met with unimpressed ticketholders on Facebook, many of whom have left comments expressing their dissatisfaction. Over on Instagram, organisers have turned off comments on their most recent posts.