Finland Gives Refunds for Bad Shows

New Ruling allows refund for shows widely accepted as terrible

Have you ever left a show you were eager to see disappointed because of a crappy performance? Wish you could have got your money back, because it was that bad? If you happen live in Finland and you and your fellow concert-goers felt the same way, then you’d be entitled to your money back.

This comes as a ruling by the Finnish Consumer Disputes Board reported by BBC via yle after a fan complained about a bad Chuck Berry show. Back in 2013, the 88 year old blues legend seemed rather sickly on stage, and apologized for not performing up to his usual standard. The complaint was filed after that, saying concert promoters should pay back 50% of the ticket price in situations like these.

Of course one person’s subjective opinion isn’t enough to merit a refund as Paul StÃ¥hlberg, the board’s chairman states: “Anyone seeking a ruling like this is always spurred by a subjective opinion, but that’s not enough to get a refund. What is significant is a generally agreed view that the concert was a failure, as it was in the Chuck Berry case.”

Sobriety is another measure of performance, whether or not a performance suffers due to alcohol or drug related performances. The ruling doesn’t necessarily apply directly to any performance by an artist who is drunk or high, only to those who can’t function well. “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,” StÃ¥hlberg explains.

Festivals have different rulings regular shows: “There are numerous different performers at a festival and so it have to be evaluated as a whole. Even the marching order affects perception of the overall quality. A failed performance by a featured star is a bigger deal for consumers than one by a warm-up band”.

At the end of the day, it’s mass opinion that shapes the decision whether or not a refund is given out. So don’t go flying out to Finland for “free” shows any time soon.

(Main Photo Courtesy of Missouri Division of Tourism via Flickr)