Ultra Music Fest Hit With a Class Action Over Refusal to Issue Ticket Refunds

Ultra Music Festival 2018
Jason Koerner/Getty Images

General view of main stage during Ultra Music Festival 2018 at Bayfront Park on March 24, 2018 in Miami.

Two Florida residents are suing Ultra Music Festival for refusing to give refunds for their canceled electronic music festival earlier this year.

Samuel Hernandez and Richard Montoure filed a class action on Tuesday (May 26) in Florida Southern District court after they said they tried in vain to get their money back for tickets purchased for the canceled 2020 three-day Ultra Music Festival. The event, which was scheduled to take place March 20th-22nd in Downtown Miami, was "postponed" on March 4 due to the spread of COVID-19.

On March 6, the lawsuit states that Ultra announced that due to a purportive 'directive' from the City of Miami - rather than by mutual agreement of the parties - The Ultra festival would be postponed until March 26 to March 28, 2021.

In their 25-page complaint, the two men said they both purchased expensive tickets to the 2020 festival - Hernandez says he spent $3,000 on four tickets and Montoure says he purchased two general admission 3-Day Tier 3 passes to the festival for $1,032.30. After learning of the rescheduling, the two men said they contacted Ultra for a refund but were told that Ultra was only offering compensation tickets for either the 2021 or 2022.

Initially, Ultra told them they had 30 days to choose which festival they would like to to attend but have since extended that deadline. Additionally, the complaint points out that they since learned that Ultra’s ticket policy maintains the right to give refunds at their discretion.

Ultra maintains the "sole and absolute discretion to either issue full or partial refunds to purchaser, not issue any refunds, or reschedule the Event." Ultra's ticketing policy also maintains it reserves the right to retain any monies paid for tickets regardless of whether Ultra elects to put on the festivals, according to the complaint. The policy, the lawsuit argues, creates an "unenforceable unilateral options contract," and because it fails to provide any limitations on their right to modify the contract with consumers, should be declared "void."

Attorneys representing the two men estimate that the aggrieved class of plaintiffs will exceed more than $5 million in damages and are asking the court to demand that Ultra refund the ticket money.

"We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every part of the global economy but we do not believe that gives the Ultra Music Festival the right to shift the burden of this extraordinary crisis onto its customers, who, in some cases, paid thousands of dollars to attend this festival and now the COVID-19 pandemic has or will preclude them from ever using any credit. We look forward to seeking to recover cash refunds for our clients and the class members," said Joe Sauder of Sauder Schelkopf, an attorney for class.

Ultra did not immediately respond to Billboard’s request for comment.

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