Paul McCartney Backs Fans In Italian Ticket Scandal
Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Press
Paul McCartney is not happy.
The former Beatle was set to perform to Italian fans in Naples and Lucca this week.
However, due to the international outbreak of the coronavirus, the performances will no longer go ahead.
With the Italian government refusing to allow refunds for his canceled Freshen Up tour, thousands of McCartney fans have been left out of pocket.
While others in similar situations across Europe have been able to claim refunds, the official Italian promoters’ association Assomusica has taken a different stance.
Upholding a decree issued by the Italian government, Assomusica will only offer vouchers as reimbursement for canceled shows.
All money remains with event promoters.
Taking to social media, Paul McCartney has put his promoter and the Italian government to task.
“It is outrageous that those who have paid for their tickets are not getting their money back,” McCartney writes in an Italian-only Facebook post, “Without the fans there would be no live entertainment.”
“We strongly disagree with what the Italian government are doing,” the Beatle continues. “In every other country we were going to visit this summer the fans have all been offered full refunds. The organizer of our shows and the Italian law makers must do the right thing here. We are all extremely disappointed the shows could not take place and this is a real insult to the fans.”
McCartney contends that the cancellation of his European tour was only done on the condition all fans would have the option to receive a refund.
Italian promoter D’alessandro e Galli has defended the decision.
“We have read Paul McCartney’s statements made by him this morning,” Galli states in reply. “We fully understand the bitterness of the artist over these two concerts that would mark his return to Italy, and we understand his displeasure in the face of the inconvenience that his fans will have to sustain by not receiving a direct refund but by voucher.”
“This reimbursement formula is an extraordinary measure that Paul McCartney’s staff was perfectly aware of before the cancellation and which,” they continue, “as is well known, was established by the Italian Government to deal with an unprecedented crisis that risked giving a shot fatal to the live music industry and the approximately 400,000 workers who are part of it and who risk not being able to work for a year.”
“We have already committed ourselves by 2021 to recovering almost all the shows scheduled for 2020,” Galli concludes, “and we are working to add others, to offer the wider choice for those who will have to spend the voucher following a canceled concert.”
Disgruntled Italian fans, many facing hardships due to the coronavirus pandemic, have dubbed the debacle #yesterpay.
The dispute has been widely reported in the Italian media, with many publications siding with McCartney’s contention the refusal to offer refunds is unfair.
Others are considering legal action, advocating a class-action lawsuit, and calling for the sacking of Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini.
“At this moment, consumer rights are being trampled on by both the Government,” restoratives of Italian law firm Codacons share, “which with the relaunch decree has introduced the measure of vouchers as a form of reimbursement for canceled events.”