Over the last few years, a handful of headlining artists have had to cancel tour dates due to issues both in, and out of, their control.
Last year, Selena Gomez canceled the last leg of her Revival world tour due to illness, and Kanye canceled the remaining dates of his Saint Pablo tour for undisclosed health reasons. This year, the cancellations continued, with Adele canceling the last two concerts of her career because of vocal cord damage, and a burned out Justin Bieber canceling his Purpose world tour to "[get] some relaxation."
In a statement to The New York Times, one of Bieber's publicists assured that "tickets will be refunded at point of purchase" — as is the custom in situations like this.
If you happened to have a ticket to a canceled concert, you'll likely be fine, aside from the disappointment. "We are not involved in Justin’s cancelled shows as it impacts his American, Japan, Singapore, [and] Philippines shows (we handle all Ticketmaster markets outside of North America)," Mel Perrett, the PR and communications manager at Ticketmaster International, told Refinery29 via email. "We can only speak to ourselves — if a show is cancelled, we refund the price of the ticket, in addition to the booking fee."
Ticketmaster, a behemoth in the ticketing industry, does sell insurance for when you can't attend a concert: "If you can't attend an event for any covered reason – such as illness, airline delays, traffic accidents and more – you'll get 100% of the ticket price returned to you," the company explains. Just know that there may be caveats to that, which you should double-check with Ticketmaster itself. A 2013 story from the Los Angeles Times detailed the various exceptions to claiming that insurance.
Perrett added that Ticketmaster's customer service team reaches out to impacted customers after a show is canceled to notify them of the change and arrange refunds. In these cases, ticket insurance is not required for ticket and booking fee refunds. So, if you're worried that your chart-topping fave might flake, skip the pre-checkout insurance offer, and remember to keep your cell phone on.
As explained in a 2014 article from The Washington Post, major concert cancellations are actually pretty rare. Common reasons for canceling a tour date include illness, bad weather, technical issues, or even visa delays, Emily Yahr reported, but doing so is always a big deal. Everyone — from the crew, to the band, to the promoter, booking agent, venue, managers, and fans — takes a hit. (Not to mention, the social media badmouthing — even if it passes quickly — could make a star the butt of a joke for a news cycle or two.)