Public will not be refunded if concerts in 2021 are rescheduled, Tánaiste warns

Public will not be refunded if concerts in 2021 are rescheduled, Tánaiste warns

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said there is no guarantee mass gatherings will be allowed to return next summer. (Julien Behal/PA)

People buying tickets for concerts next summer should be aware they will not be entitled to refunds if the events are rescheduled, the Tánaiste has said.

Leo Varadkar said there was “no guarantee” such events would go ahead and that it may be “some time yet” before mass gatherings are allowed.

The music festival Longitude has announced its return in July 2021, an event that typically attracts 40,000 people.

Mr Varadkar said: “There are now tickets on sale for some major events that we all hope will go ahead next summer.

“The advice I would say is that there is no guarantee that those events will go ahead.

“It might be some time yet before we can attend matches, concerts and mass gatherings.

“I hope it is possible in the summer, but that’s far from sure at this point.

“Under the law it is possible for companies organising those events to cancel them and reschedule them.

“They don’t have to refund the cost of the ticket, they can reschedule them.

“I think people who are buying a ticket should be aware of that.

“They’re not guaranteed a refund.

“They might find the gig rescheduled.”

Mr Varadkar made the comments in the Dáil on Thursday, responding to Labour leader Alan Kelly during Leaders’ Questions.

He asked the Tánaiste what advice he would give to event companies in relation to such events going ahead.

In a statement issued this evening, event promoter MCD said: "MCD will continue our policy of offering customers the option of a full refund should a show be rescheduled due to Covid-19.

"This refund policy applies to all events scheduled to take place in 2020 and 2021, including Longitude and Electric Picnic," the statement added.

Kendrick Lamar is among the artists announced to headline Longitude (Alan D West/PA)

Mr Kelly also quizzed the Tánaiste on plans for the rollout of a vaccine, which is expected to begin in January.

The Tánaiste said the issue of who will be prioritised to receive the vaccine will not be decided by the taskforce chaired by Professor Brian MacCraith, which is due to report to Government on December 11.

Instead it will fall to the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC), Mr Varadkar said.

He added: “We would expect a report from them very soon, as to what the order of prioritisation will be.

“I don’t think it’s going to be rocket science.

“I think everyone understands that those who will be prioritised will be those who need it the most.

“Health care workers because of the increased risk and also the risk they have in spreading it to patients.

“Residents of nursing homes and also those who are older and have chronic diseases.

“Those are the groups that are going to be prioritised.

“And perhaps people who work in high risk environments, like for example in meat factories.”

Mr Varadkar confirmed that there will be no charge for the vaccine, which will be paid for through taxation.

Meanwhile, the Tánaiste said the Government is considering its position on pay for student nurses and midwives.

A review of student nurses’ allowance is under way and will be available in September 2021, he said.

It came after the Government parties voted down a bill by Solidarity-People Before Profit to reinstate pay for student nurses and midwives during the pandemic on Wednesday night.

Mr Varadkar was pressed on the issue during Leaders’ Questions by Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty, who said those working on the front line and in Covid wards deserved to be paid.

The Tánaiste responded: “The matter is being considered.

“A full review of student allowances is under way.

“It should be ready in September 2021.”

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