The future of live concerts amid the coronavirus pandemic

The adrenaline-filled air. The roar of the crowd. Standing shoulder to shoulder with fellow fans -- it’s not clear when we’ll be able to do this again. 

Now, people who bought tickets through third-party sites like StubHub unable to get their money back. 

Rachel Cobb says her mom spent $400 to take her granddaughter to a show, and now StubHub will only give her a future credit. 

They changed their policy from an initial statement in March where they promised cash refunds would be an option. 

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In a statement to FOX 5, StubHub said, in part: "With the magnitude of challenge in recouping monies owed by sellers over the coming months, it is currently impossible for us to offer immediate cash refunds to all buyers."

Music venues are also facing their own financial burden. The newly formed National Independent Venue Association is asking Congress for financial help. 

The pandemic has been brutal on every form of live event space. In Europe, some artists are now holding drive-in concerts. 

In Arkansas this week, singer Travis McCready held what’s believed to be the first concert since the pandemic began, along with temperature checks and the crowd only at 20 percent capacity. 

Steven Adelman with the Event Safety Alliance says we may not see the headliners we’re used to, but efforts are underway to bring live performances back. He also tells FOX 5 the return of live shows will also depend heavily on fans -- if a crowd doesn’t take precautions, it could ruin things for future events. 

Read StubHub's full statement below: 

"StubHub is a global marketplace and our policies vary by region, in line with local guidance. In the last few weeks, 50,000+ events have been cancelled, postponed or rescheduled – 40,000 in the US and Canada alone. Given the unprecedented impact the coronavirus has had on the live events industry, we have adapted our policies in the US and Canada while continuing to try to go above and beyond for our customers. 

As a marketplace, we act as an intermediary for buyers and sellers. In normal times, we’ve made the decision to refund buyers before collecting money from the seller to offer buyers more convenience. And under normal circumstances, this works well, even with StubHub taking the risk of timing delays and some losses when we are unable to collect from the seller. With the coronavirus impacting so many events and the associated magnitude of challenge in recouping monies owed by sellers over the coming months, it is currently impossible for us to offer immediate cash refunds to all buyers.  

When the volume of cancellations accelerated a few weeks ago, we were the first in our industry to offer a coupon worth 120% of the ticket value. This will now be our default option in Canada and in the US. Outside of the US and Canada, fans are defaulted to a refund. Due to the exceptional circumstances the music and sport industries are currently facing, some refunds may take a little longer than normal to process. We greatly appreciate our community’s patience and understanding during this extraordinary time."