With the summer music festival season fast approaching, consumer protections agencies are promoting some helpful advice for consumers to avoid joining those left out of pocket by the cancellation of over 45 music festivals across Australia since 2010.

Regulators cannot prevent music festival cancellations or line-up changes, and a certain amount of risk applies when you buy a ticket. However, you may be able to reduce the risk to you by doing a bit of research and planning ahead.

Our top tips

  1. Do your research – know your rights.Do your research – know your rights.
  2. Buy from a reputable ticket seller – read reviews online and talk to your friends and family.
  3. Read the terms and conditions before you purchase tickets to see what you are entitled to.Read the terms and conditions before you purchase tickets to see what you are entitled to.
  4. Buy tickets online through a secure website (look for the https:)
  5. Like any purchase, keep all related documentation and receipts.Like any purchase, keep all related documentation and receipts.
  6. NT consumers often purchase flights and accommodation to attend concerts and music festivals; consider purchasing travel insurance and ensure you read the terms and conditions to make certain it allows for cancellations.

Under Australian Consumer Law, a business cannot accept payment and then fail to deliver what was promised. If a festival is cancelled, ticket holders may be entitled to a full refund from the company that sold them the ticket. Smart strategies include choosing to buy from only reputable ticket sellers, and reading in full the terms and conditions outlined by the seller.

Ticket holders should prepare for the unexpected and retain all receipts and relevant information in case a dispute arises and proof of purchase is required at a later date.

Credit card users may have the potential to seek a chargeback from their bank if unsuccessful in obtaining a refund from the ticket seller, while PayPal users are able to seek advice from the PayPal Resolution Centre.

While significant format changes to an advertised program may result in a refund, simply changing your plans and deciding to no longer attend a music festival does not.

Unfortunately things do go wrong from time to time, but with a bit of preparation ahead of time the level of consumer dissatisfaction can be reduced and a resolution found.