There’s been further developments today on the refund battle currently playing out between Soundwave and Eventopia, who sold tickets to the 2016 event.

Yesterday, after poor ticket sales, AJ Maddah pulled the plug on Soundwave 2016 telling punters that they should ask Eventopia for a refund. However Eventopia quickly responded asserting that it was Soundwave and AJ Maddah that were responsible for refunding ticket holders and that they would not be processing them.

Customers, caught in the cross fire were understandably angry at this news, and Maddah has been engaged in a war of words on social media ever since.

Now Eventopia have sent an update to ticket holders, amending their position – but ticket holders shouldn’t hold their breath just yet.

“We share fans’ disappointment and anger following the cancellation of Soundwave Festival on 17th December 2016,” the statement read.

“In line with our ticketing services agreement with Soundwave Festival, Eventopia previously advanced ticket sales proceeds to the Soundwave Promoter, Hounds of Hell Pty Ltd. The Soundwave Promoter currently holds customers’ money.”

“This morning, Eventopia issued the Promoter a letter of demand to return all proceeds that were advanced. When the Soundwave Promoter returns the customers’ money to Eventopia, Eventopia will immediately process all refunds. ”

“We appreciate your patience during this time. Eventopia will keep you and all Soundwave Festival customers informed and up to date with any instructions or related information regarding the refund process. ”

Tone Deaf spoke with Martin Curnow, General Manager BD of Ticketek and Eventopia, who told us “the process that we have taken is that because AJ has the money, and has money according to the contract that money should be held in trust on behalf of the ticket buyers.”

“So for Eventopia to complete the refunds we sent him a letter of demand that he return those proceeds to Eventopia so Eventopia once we’ve received those monies will complete all the refunds on behalf of the customers.”

When pressed about what will happen in the event AJ Maddah and Soundwave doesn’t return the money, Curnow was short. “I can’t speculate because as you can imagine we’re dealing with what is in front of us, and our commitment to our customers is get the money back from AJ. It’s fairly simple: AJ, give us the money. Let us refund the customers.”

Eventopia won’t reveal what percentage of the ticket funds had been advanced to Soundwave, only that “it is a high percentage” that is “over and beyond our duty to AJ Maddah and the Soundwave Festival”. They also wouldn’t reveal how many tickets had been sold, although The Age is reporting that it could be as many as 50,000 tickets.

Curnow also wants customers to be patient with the process and not pursue chargebacks through their financial institutions. “They should wait, we issued this letter of demand only a matter of hours ago and we’re about to issue an email to our customers informing them of what has taken place today”.

But despite ticket holders at Soundwave and Echo Festival in New Zealand being left in the lurch with no sign of refunds, Eventopia say the practise of advancing funds to festival promoters will continue.

Advancing box office proceeds, is common in the festival sector,” Curnow said. “As a business we will continue to consider festivals and similar events on a case by case and event by event basis”.

“The promoter is responsible for the security of the funds that we advance. Very clear. We’re a ticketing agent”.

Eventopia are yet to hear back from Soundwave, AJ Maddah, or their lawyers.

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine