Consumer group offers rights reminder for festival goers

Once again, despite being faced with a barrage of complaints and cases against festival organisers around Spain, the FACUA-Consumers in Action group has issued a reminder of your rights when faced with the most common abusive practices of festival promoters.

Numerous cultural and recreational events take place at this time of year. Every year there are more music appointments that proliferate throughout the country. So that you can enjoy these activities without incident and know how to recognise abuse, it is essential that you know your rights and the protection measures that assist you, they say.

In the first place, festival promoters cannot prohibit attendees from entering the venue with food or drinks from outside. Some companies intend to prohibit the entry of food and drinks, as if they were bars or restaurants. However, this abusive exercise of the right of admission goes against the legislation on public entertainment. If you come across this situation, you can file a claim, but be sure to ask for and keep the receipts for the food you buy inside, and then demand a refund.

Secondly, the fact of not offering access to unpackaged drinking water on the premises also violates the legislation. Instead, promoters must offer alternatives to the sale of beverages in single-use containers and guarantee access to unpackaged drinking water. If a deposit is charged for reusable cups, they must also establish mechanisms for its return once the container is returned.

Are you entitled to compensation for damages?

Third, the cancellation of performances implies compensation: If one of the artists cancels their participation in the festival, attendees have the right to request a refund of the amount of the tickets and compensation for the economic damages derived, such as transportation costs. or accommodation. If they are still interested in attending the event, they can also ask the company to refund part of the price.

Fourth, if the festival is cancelled or new dates are announced due to not having obtained the permits from the competent administration or for any other reason, the promoter is obliged to refund the amount of the tickets and attendees can claim damages.

The period granted by the promoter to request a refund of the amount of tickets or vouchers not consumed must be adjusted to what is established by the regional regulations. Without a specific regulation that establishes these terms, the one established by the Civil Code for contractual breaches and damages derived from them is applied: 5 years.

What happens if they change the location of the event?

Fifth, event location changes also result in a refund opportunity. If the event is moved to another venue and, as a result of this change, it is no longer attractive to the attendee, you also have the right to a refund of the entrance fee.

Sixth, the festival or event must allow cash payment and cannot impose cashless wristbands as the only method of payment. The law does not force businesses to accept debit or credit card payments, but it does prevent them from denying cash payment. So, the imposition of making purchases in the festival venues exclusively through a cashless bracelet that must be previously purchased and loaded with money is an illegal practice.

Seventh, the organiser of the event cannot charge the consumer to recover the money from the cashless wristbands. If it is illegal to impose payment with cashless bracelets, it is also illegal to charge a commission for recovering the money left over from them, to demand a minimum on the card balance or to establish a short term to request a refund.

Can they charge you to leave and re-enter the venue?

Eighth, it is not legal to impose re-access payments. The promoter cannot charge an extra for allowing attendees to leave and re-enter the venue. Only if there are security reasons, you can limit re-access, as long as it is homogeneous for all attendees and does not depend on the payment of a concept added to the ticket price.

FACUA hopes that this public service information will be useful to citizens in defending their recognised rights in the face of any abuse that arises during the development of these events.

The association watches over the rights of consumers and is attentive to report any infringement that occurs during the celebration of these festivals. FACUA is available to advise members affected when filing claims related to the abuses committed by the promoters of these shows.