AUSTIN, TX –
South by Southwest has cancelled its annual festival amid coronavirus threats. The popular art festival has told consumers it will not offer refunds.
“Any and all payments made to SXSW are not refundable for any reason, including, without limitation, failure to use Credentials due to illness, acts of God, travel-related problems, acts of terrorism, loss of employment and/or duplicate purchases,” the festival highlights in its ticketing policy.
Fair. But, right? That’s a different question.
I call it an act of “excessive capitalism” where companies are more concerned with protecting their income as opposed to being the best company possible for consumers. As @JillianChili points out on Twitter, who could have expected that a “pandemic” would take place which would cancel the festival?
How was anyone suppose to predict an epidemic canceling @sxsw when buying tickets last year. This no refund policy needs to take into consideration that the event was cancelled by the city and a lot of people didn’t decide to cancel their tickets. @sxsw please update your policy. pic.twitter.com/NwljLSkoBZ
— OffscreenwithJillian (@JillianChili) March 9, 2020
Granted, SXSW didn’t know either. But, you’re the company. Take leadership and take responsibility for the fact that an illness cancelled your event.
SXSW founder Roland Swenson says the company’s insurance doesn’t cover cancellations due to “bacterial infections, communicable diseases, viruses and pandemics.” Understood.
But, I still hold the festival liable for not seeking proper insurance. You can’t pick and choose emergencies.
Well, you can but you’ve got to expect some outrage from it.
Kudos to the company for allowing consumers to come at a later date. He tells the Statesman, “2020 registrants can opt to defer their registration to 2021, 2022, or 2023,”