Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What does the ministerial decree entail?
The ministerial decree in question is the ministerial decree on private and public activities of a cultural, social, festive, folkloric, sporting and recreational nature. It was published on March 19, 2020 and amended on April 7, 2020.
The ministerial decree can be found via the following link: http://www.ejustice.just.fgov.be/eli/besluit/2020/03/19/2020040675/justel
Under normal circumstances, as a consumer, you are entitled to a refund of the full purchase price of your original ticket. However, this ministerial decree has been drawn up in order to protect the leisure sector. If every consumer would ask for a refund, many festivals, event organizers, concert halls, museums, etc. could go bankrupt.
Each organizer is free to decide how they wish to put into practice the standard imposed by the ministerial decree.
How do I find out what happens to my ticket?
Each organizer is responsible for the communication around his ticket policy. It is advised to consult the website of the organizer in question.
Will my ticket remain valid for an event that has been moved?
If the event for which you purchased tickets, e.g. a festival, performance or concert, is moved within the period of 2 years after the original date, or an event with the same essential characteristics is organized within that period, your ticket will remain valid for the new event.
In this case, the organizer in question will provide the necessary information regarding that ticket.
Your original ticket will be valid for the new event, or the organizer will provide you with a credit that you can spend on an event organized by them. This event must have the same essential characteristics as the original event and take place within two years from the original event.
What does an 'event with the same essential characteristics' mean?
An 'event with the same essential characteristics' means that the new event is of the same nature as the original event.
- For example, a festival refers to the same festival; that takes place under the same name at the same or a nearby location and with a similar lineup. In practice, however, a festival can never be exactly the same.
- In a concert, this means that the same main act will perform.
If the new event cannot be moved within two years of the date, the ticket holder will receive a refund.
What if I'm unavailable on the new date of the event?
The ticket holder must accept the postponement of the event or voucher unless he/she is unable to attend on the replacement date. You will then receive a refund of the purchase price (including service and/or reservation costs).
The ticket holder must be able to prove that he/she will not be able to be present on the replacement date.
What are considered valid reasons why I might be prevented from attending the new date of the event?
The ministerial decree does not specify what is or is not considered to be a valid reason why a person might be prevented from attending the new event. However, evidence must be provided as to why the ticket holder is unable to attend. Only on presentation of proof will the ticket holder be entitled to a refund of the ticket price purchased.
The reasons must be legitimate, meaning that you know well in advance that you will not be able to attend the event. A pre-planned medical intervention, a long pre-planned marriage or a long pre-planned trip are some examples of this.
Each organizer will make his own assessment. It is therefore advisable to visit the website of the organization in question, or to contact it directly.
What happens to my ticket if the event is cancelled?
If an event cannot be moved to a new date within 2 years of the original date or if an event with the same essential characteristics is not organized during that period, your money - including service and/or reservation costs - will be refunded. You will receive your refund no later than 3 months after the ministerial decree has become ineffective.
Subscriptions, annual passes, season passes and the like
I have a subscription, year pass, season pass or something similar with an organizer. What happens to this?
It is advised to consult the organizer's website where you have purchased a subscription, annual or seasonal pass. Organizers will deal with this differently, depending on the ticket type, type of show, etc.
In what form will I receive my voucher?
The organizer is free to decide how the voucher is issued. This can be your original ticket that remains valid for the new or moved event. An organizer can also choose to provide a credit equivalent to the value of the originally purchased ticket. This can be spent by the ticket holder on the new event or other events with the same essential characteristics of the organizer, within the period of two years after the date of the original event.
How long is my voucher valid for?
You can use the credit up to 2 years after the date of the original event for which you have purchased a ticket.
Can I get my money back instead of the voucher?
Under normal circumstances, you are entitled to a full refund. However, this measure was created to protect the cultural sector.
You can only get your money back in the following situations:
1) The event is moved but you are unable to attend. If you can prove this, your money will be refunded within a reasonable period of time.
2) The event is cancelled. This means that an event with the same essential characteristics will no longer take place within 2 years of the original date. You will then be reimbursed within a reasonable period of time.
Every ticket buyer is always free not to ask for a refund; the industry will be grateful.
Can the organizor go bankrupt?
The measures taken, have been put in place to minimize the risk of a bankruptcy. The voucher is valid for a period of 2 years. This limits the risk that the ticket holder will lose his money due to bankruptcy on a longer term.
Can I make a donation?
Gladly! Each organization will set this up in its own way; please visit the website of the organization in question directly.
Recently, LIVE2020 was established; a solidarity fund for and by various players from the Belgian live music industry. The live music industry is joining forces with the public and wants to raise money to help anyone who makes live music possible; from backliners to stagehands, from musicians to booking agents, from DJs to stage builders, from sound engineers to roadies, etc. You can support LIVE2020 by making a donation, or by participating in one of the actions. You can find all info on the website.
Will my event, organizer, theatre or festival participate?
In principle, all Belgian theatres, concert halls, organizers, pop podiums, monuments, museums and festivals can make use of these measures. The expectation is, of course, that they will too. It is up to the organizer to provide the right information to its customers. It is advisable to consult the website of the event, organizer, theatre, festival etc. for more information.
Do you have any more questions?
First, turn to the organizer's website, and wait for further communication by the organizer.