This story was originally published on 11th March and will be continuously updated in the coming days.
In an unprecedented move, the Coachella music festival in Indio, California has been postponed until October. Following the cancellation of South by Southwest and closures at the Google, Facebook, and Twitter offices, the companies behind the Coachella music festival are exercising an abundance of caution to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
But anyone who has planned a trip to Coachella knows it’s more than just tickets. Festival-goers can spend up to a few thousand dollars on flights, accommodations, and transportation to-and-from the venue, in addition to outfits, food, and events. You've likely already packed some version of a head-to-toe pink cowgirl look that you can't really wear on any other occasion, especially not in October. If you are one of these folks, you're probably wondering what to do about the money you spent on flights you're not going to take and how to cancel your Airbnb without losing a few hundred dollars in fees.
So while you might not be able to return the spray tan or coloured highlights you got ahead of Coachella, here is the latest news on how to get the rest of your money back.
Coachella Tickets Refunds
As of the 10th March announcement, Coachella ticket holders will have their April tickets honoured for the new October dates. The first weekend will be on 9th, 10th and 11th October while the second will follow on 16th, 17th, 18th October. Coachella’s sister festival, Stagecoach, has been pushed to October as well.
However, if a full refund sans cancellation fees is what you seek, you'll have to hang tight until Friday 13th March, when Goldenvoice will tell purchasers how to obtain full refunds if they are unable to attend in October. So check back in for details on Friday.
As of 10th March, Airbnb announced its "More Flexible Reservation" suite of tools. It’s a series of policies and incentives the company has put in place to make bookings and cancellations less financially burdensome in times like these. It rewards flexible hosts for giving full refunds and waiving the usual service and cancellation fees. Airbnb will waive the standard 3% host fee for new bookings through June 2020.
Travellers will be able to filter their searches to focus on flexible bookings. For bookings made starting now through June 2020, Airbnb will also refund guest service fees as travel coupons that can be used for future bookings.
All of this to say, if you booked your Coachella accommodations with Airbnb, you do stand to lose some money. Plenty of Airbnb listings are subject penalty-free cancellation and you can also contest cancellation or service fees under the "extenuating circumstances" cancellation policy, which was recently expanded.