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.”

READ ALSO Calendar: The key dates as France begins to lift its lockdown

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

  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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Macron caps US state visit with New Orleans trip

President Emmanuel Macron on Friday headed to the southern American city of New Orleans, which retains much of its French-infused heritage, as he wraps up a rare three-day state visit to the United States.

Macron caps US state visit with New Orleans trip

After vowing continued support for Ukraine and seeking to quell a EU-US trade dispute during White House talks with President Joe Biden, Macron was expected to meet with local officials and energy companies in New Orleans and unveil a French language program.

Once a French colonial city, New Orleans was sold to the United States by Napoleon as part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, and Macron has called it “the quintessential francophone land.”

Macron will promote an initiative to broaden access to French language education for American students, with a focus on disadvantaged groups “for whom the French language can be a multiplier of opportunities,” the French leader said.

Addressing members of the French community in Washington on Wednesday, Macron added that he wanted to revamp the image of the French tongue in the United States, “which is sometimes seen as elitist.”

Macron will follow in the footsteps of French President Charles de Gaulle, who visited New Orleans in 1960. As he strolls through the streets of “NOLA,” Macron is likely to stop by the “Vieux Carre,” or “French Quarter”, the bustling historic city center.

“We have a history in New Orleans and important things to say there concerning both our history and what we want to do for the future,” the Elysee Palace said in a statement.

Energy and climate

Besides celebrating French-American ties, Macron will pay tribute to the victims of Hurricane Katrina which killed more than 1,800 people in and around New Orleans and caused billions of dollars in damage in 2005.

Macron will also meet with businesses “devoted to energy and climate issues,” according to his office, while French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna and Louisiana Governor John Edwards will sign an energy deal.

Accompanied by French film director Claude Lelouch and dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied, Macron will meet local artists and prominent cultural figures of New Orleans, known as the birthplace of jazz.

The visit will come on the heels of a lavish dinner at the White House, headlined by master jazzman Jon Batiste, who comes from a family of New Orleans musicians.

Macron’s state visit — the first such formal occasion since Biden took office in January 2021 — symbolized how Washington and Paris have buried last year’s bitter spat over the way Australia pulled out of a French submarine deal in favor of acquiring US nuclear subs instead.

The visit featured a full military honor guard for Macron, including service members from the marines, army, air force and even a detachment of soldiers in 18th-century Revolutionary War garb.