Your rights over tickets for cancelled events in France

With thousands of concerts, sports matches, festivals and performances already cancelled in France, the government has issued revised rules for getting refunds on tickets.

Large public gatherings in France have been banned since the end of February – several weeks before the country went into lockdown – and are not expected to be allowed again until September.

This has seen thousands of events cancelled and people who had bought tickets in advance left wondering whether and when they are entitled to refunds.

Now the French government has published a decree in the Journal officiel that covers the cancellation of any event due to the the Covid-19 outbreak between March 12th and September 15th.

Mindful of the plight of companies that face bankruptcy due to more than six months with no events, the terms for event organisers are more relaxed than normal.

A government spokesman said: “In order to safeguard the cash flow of performing arts companies, sports event organisers and operators of physical activity and sports establishments while respecting consumer rights, the Order of May 7th 2020 modifies the obligations of these professionals to enable them to offer either a credit note or a refund to their customers.”

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Thousands of sports events, including the final part of the Six Nations rugby tournament, have been cancelled or postponed since February. Photo: AFP

These are the main points of the new order;

Credit note – The company is allowed to offer you either a cash refund or a credit note or voucher

Refund amount – The amount refunded is the amount that was paid out, so if you bought discount tickets the refund will be for the price you paid, not the full ticket price

Vouchers – If the company offers you a voucher you can only claim a cash refund at the end of the expiry date of the voucher

Contact – The company must contact you by post or email within 30 days of the cancellation of the event to inform you of the terms of your refund and, if the refund is in the form of a voucher, the expiry date of the voucher

Use – a voucher can be used for any event of the same nature and the same price as your cancelled event and must not incur extra fees such as a second booking fee.

Expiry – Expiry dates for vouchers must not exceed

  • 6 months for access to physical or sporting activities
  • 12 months for live performances
  • 18 months for sporting events

If a rebooked event is more expensive, you will have to pay the difference in ticket prices

Tourist packages – performances or sporting events that were part of a tourist package are not included in the above measures.





Member comments

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  1. The most curious aspect of a refund is that even when I paid for tickets to an event easily with a credit card, some venues are insisting they cannot refund a credit card, only with my IBAN number – but as a visitor to France I did not have a bank account!

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