AUSTIN (KXAN) — Would-be festival goers reached out to KXAN, stating more than a month after Travis County officials cancelled the Levitation music festival due to a severe weather threat, many have yet to receive a ticket refund.
The festival was scheduled to run April 29 – May 1, with former Beach Boy Brian Wilson headlining. Festival organizers were been able to reschedule some of the bands at various locations throughout Austin, but thousands were left disappointed, many people traveling from out-of-state or even outside the country.
Beyond the clouds that folded the festival, Joe Tomter wants clarity on why, 39 days later, he’s $300 short.
“I’ve been to a lot of events that have been cancelled but usually it’s a pretty quick process to get your refund so I’m starting to get concerned,” Tomter said. “I spent $200 on a pass and $100 on VIP. And so, that’s a lot of money to have vanish into thin air.”
Not to mention the money spent on air travel. “The plane ticket, the Air BnB, the Uber and Lyft, you know all that stuff,” Tomter said, having traveled more than 1,200 miles from Milwaukee to Carson Creek Ranch.
“This was my big trip for the year,” he said. The big trip is now a big headache for Tomter, and countless others, demanding answers from festival organizers, The Reverberation Appreciation Society.
The group called the cancellation an unprecedented blow since Levitation in an independently-owned event, stating on its website every penny that came from ticket sales went to paying for the event costs. So, organizers say, the money is not available to provide refunds until the insurance claim has been paid out.
“I just want to know what happened and I want my money back,” Tomter said.
Levitation’s website says, “All customers will receive refunds – right now it’s just a matter of when. If you made your purchase at a record store, you can get a refund directly through the record store, without any wait. We are currently working through the claim process with our insurer, and moving towards getting clarity on a timeline for customers who purchased their tickets online to receive refunds.”
“We’ll be second-guessed on this either way, but we have to err on the side of public safety,” Travis County Fire Marshal Tony Callaway told KXAN in April. “Unfortunately in this situation we needed the rain but we had so much rain in last month, it did have negative impact on this particular event.”
He added parking was a big factor in the decision making, explaining there would be no way to effectively get vehicles in and out from standing rain left earlier in the week and the chance for more rainfall.
KXAN spent the day working to get in contact with Levitation organizers. The media contact said festival producers wouldn’t be available for comment before air time. We have yet to hear back on answers to our questions, asking what the expected timeline is now for refunds, how many ticket holders still need refunds, and what more could have been done to avoid this situation.