Soundwave Is Dead, But The Fight Over Ticket Refunds Is Just Revving Up

The skies might be blue and clear, but there is one hell of a shitstorm brewing.

The highly troubled, very shaky, possibly on its last legs Soundwave Festival was put out of its misery last night, with creator/promoter AJ Maddah confirming late yesterday evening that the previously announced 2016 iteration of the festival will not go ahead, due to “poor ticket sales.”

Given that Maddah has previously stated that the event will not take place again in 2017, it would appear that this is the final nail in Soundwave’s coffin.

The 2016 iteration of the festival began crumbling apart in recent weeks, with a number of previously-announced bands confirming they would no longer be playing – bands such as Bring Me The Horizon, NOFX, and L7.
But the problems for Soundwave have not ended with the cancellation announcement. Even despite the supposedly inadequate amount of ticket sales, the fact remains that tickets were indeed sold to the event, and now refunds to consumers are owed.
But neither Maddah, or event ticketing company Eventopia, are willing to pony up that cash.
Each party remains insistent that it is the other who is liable for the ticket refunds.
Eventopia – a subsidiary of Ticketek – posted the following statement on their website regarding ticket refunds.
Maddah, for his part, spent the better part of last night on Twitter bleating black and blue that the onus is on Eventopia to refund punters’ money.

However, a quick look into Eventopia’s terms and conditions paints somewhat of a different picture.

The terms for consumers and ticket purchasers does include the provision for refunds to be issued in the event of event cancellation, but does not specify where liability lies or who that money has to come from.
However, the client agreement – i.e. the agreement promoters enter into with Eventopia when they delegate ticket sales operations to them – clearly states that liability falls on to the promoter, which in this case is Maddah and production company Hounds of Hell Pty Ltd.
Now, of course, this is a rather reductive glance at what’s a rather complicated situation. But, at least on paper, it seems quite clear who has to cough up the cash.
Where it gets even more interesting is when you consider the fact that Soundwave could well have already received some of the funds earned through the sale of tickets.
In order to cover operational costs and forward bands’ advance payments, the festival needs to generate revenue. And they do this by receiving advance payments from the ticketing service based on tickets already sold, as well as projected future ticket sales.
Maddah himself intimated on Twitter that this, as far as Soundwave goes, is standard practice.

Eventopia might not have made that particular payment, but if they have indeed made others in the past, it’s easy to see how they might not be terribly keen on issuing refunds on cash that they’ve already given up.

For the time being, the situation remains at complete and utter loggerheads. And, like most things of this nature that go pearshaped, it’s fixing to get ugly. Fast.
‘Course, for what it’s worth, some people have been finding the (bone-dry) humour in this utter mess of a situation. Like the forever irreverent Frenzal Rhomb, for example.

We fucked Soundwave. We’re really sorry, it’s all our fault.How were we to know that being privately chauffeured to…

Posted by Frenzal Rhomb on Thursday, 17 December 2015

Photo: Martin Philbey/Getty Images.