This year’s South by Southwest festival was canceled after several companies — Apple, Facebook, the list goes on — decided they weren’t participating due to coronavirus. While SXSW is far from the only public gathering that’s been affected by the deadly virus, it is creating the most online chatter due to its strict refund policy that, apparently, not many people knew about. It pretty much says no refund will be granted, regardless of circumstances, which has festivalgoers asking “even coronavirus?”
Here’s what the policy says, courtesy of the SXSW website:
No SXSW application fees are refundable. All Credentials are the sole property of SXSW. SXSW may, in its sole discretion and at any time determined by SXSW, cancel, revoke, or refuse from any individual or company the following: Credentials, purchases, and/or hotel reservations made through SXSW. SXSW will not be responsible for any penalty, fee, loss, or expense that might result from such action.
- a. SXSW does not issue refunds under any circumstances. Any and all payments made to SXSW are not refundable for any reason, including, without limitation, failure to use Credentials due to illness, acts of God, travel-related problems, acts of terrorism, loss of employment and/or duplicate purchases. SXSW will not issue refunds for Credentials that have been revoked.
b. Unused Credentials have no monetary value and cannot be credited to future years or events. SXSW will not issue refunds or credits due to failure to redeem a discount coupon during the registration process. Discounted prices are based on the date payment is received in the SXSW office.c. Lost or stolen Credentials will not be replaced. In the event Credentials are lost or stolen, new Credentials will need to be purchased at the full price in effect at that time for a Participant’s continued access to the Events, including, without limitation, showcases, parties and conference content.
Needless to say, people are pretty pissed. And it looks like Airbnb hosts have been declining to issue refunds as well…
Like this guy put it, we wonder how this will affect next year’s fest…