We’ve all been there: You get really excited to see an artist live and it ends up being a disappointment. Sometimes it’s out of their control — maybe they were sick, or you’re catching them on the tail-end of an exhausting tour. Other times, the band just isn’t great live. Typically, it’s the luck of the draw and a chance you take when seeing live music. There’s nothing you can’t really do about it. Unless you live in Finland, that is.
A recent decision by the Finnish Consumer Disputes Board has set a precedent for fans to ask for a refund at concerts where they aren’t fully satisfied with the show. BBC reports that the ruling is a result of a complaint following a 2013 Chuck Berry concert in Helsinki when the 88-year-old singer was sick and didn’t perform up to par. Berry even apologized on stage for his condition during the show. The Board said that the event organizer should refund 50% of the ticket price.
Board chairman Paul Stahlberg told Finnish broadcaster Yle that illness was a justifiable reason to ask for a refund, though a lack of sobriety may not be. “It’s not at all unusual at rock festivals that some artists are high, and that doesn’t even necessarily affect the quality of their performances,” he said.
It’s not going to be all that easy to get a refund for a concert just because you personally didn’t like the performance, however: “Anyone seeking a ruling like this is always spurred by a subjective opinion, but that’s not enough to get a refund,” Stahlberg noted. “What is significant is a generally agreed view that the concert was a failure, as it was in the Chuck Berry case.”