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Lockdown – New voucher scheme for cancelled events

The general lockdown resulted in the cancellation of a considerable number of events for which tickets had already been sold. In the legislation to mitigate the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government recently created a voucher scheme for event contracts under the law relating to event contracts.

According to this scheme, event organisers will be able to issue a voucher if a ticket was bought prior to 8.3.2020 and the event was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The voucher can be redeemed either for the same event at a later date or, alternatively, for a different event by the same organiser.

The scheme will apply to leisure events such as concerts, festivals, theatrical performances, film screenings, readings, sports competitions and the like. The scheme will apply not only for single tickets but also for season tickets.

Example: An arts and culture association sold season tickets for 10 concerts in 2020. After two concerts had already taken place at the start of the year, five other concerts had to be initially cancelled. The association will be able to issue a voucher for the cancelled concerts that has to cover the value of these five concerts (thus also the advance booking fees). It will not be possible to issue a voucher for goods (e.g. for a purchase in the association’s online shop). The voucher must include a reference that it was issued because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the voucher has to be handed over to the holder of the ticket or the season ticket, e.g. personally at an advance booking office. Alternatively, the voucher can be sent via mail or e-mail.

Please note: The holder of the voucher can request that the value of the voucher be paid out if accepting the voucher is unreasonable for him/her due to his/her personal life circumstances, or if the voucher has not been redeemed by 31.12.2021.

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