Question: Should Early Power Outage Ending to Bonnie Raitt Concert = Refund?

About 1,300 residents Woodinville were without power and those attending the sold-out Bonnie Raitt concert at Chateau Ste. Michelle. Do you think the business owes attendees a refund?

A power outage left 1,300 Woodinville residents without power and also cut short the sold-out Bonnie Raitt/Mavis Staples concert at , according to those attending.

“We were at the Bonnie (Raitt) concert last night at the St. Michelle winery and at about 9:20 - all the power went off with a big sizzle," Martha Tyler told Patch in an email. "The show was over, many were disappointed."

She also said as they drove home they noticed many neighborhoods seemed to be without power.

A tree branch on a power line caused the power outage, according to Puget Sound Energy.

The power officially went out at 9:17 p.m. near 14335 132nd Ave. NE, PSE officials said. They say the cause was a tree branch on a power line in that vicinity.

Nika Manfredi said she was at the when the outage occurred.

"Fortunately, they have their own generator and lots of candles," she posted on Woodinville Patch's Facebook page.

Power was restored at 10:28 p.m.

Kika Baa posted on the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery Facebook page after the concert ended, asking for reimbursement information.

"‎Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Please tell us how you will be reimbursing patrons of the Bonnie Raitt concert than ended so abruptly!!!! Love the venue and Bonnie!!!! Please make it right!"

Chris Mallott wrote on their page, "Ha! Show ended early anyway. A bit unexpected, but Mavis Staples was wonderful! Bonnie was great too, just suffered from power outage. Great time regardless..."

Patch is checking with the winery to find out if any patrons will be reimbursed. According to their website:

"Tickets are non-refundable except in the event of a cancellation, and then tickets are refundable at the original point of purchase only." 

Were you there? What were you told as the concert ended? Do you think concertgoers should get a refund or a ticket to another show?

Pamela Blessing September 10, 2012 at 10:28 PM
I don't think we as concert goers should request a refund. There really is no finger to point at or make responsible for an act of nature. Disappointed, OH YES! Do I think it's fair and reasonable to request a refund? NO. Pamela in Seattle
Jeanne Gustafson September 11, 2012 at 12:16 AM
It's official, Pamela, the winery is not offering refunds: http://woodinville.patch.com/articles/no-refunds-for-bonnie-raitt-concert-at-chateau-ste-michelle However, the winery is offering a 30 percent discount on one item in their gift store (including bottles of wine) to those with ticket stubs from Sunday's show. Those with ticket stubs can also receive a complimentary wine tasting at Chateau Ste. Michelle. Do you think most ticketholders will fee that's a sufficient gesture after the problems last night?
Gerald Markham September 11, 2012 at 12:34 AM
I was at the concert too. Regardless of who is at fault for this accident a contract is a contract. You'd get no refund offer from its promoters if a tree fell on your car on the way there! Mavis Staples isn't even mentioned on my ticket and I didn't go there to see her. The contract was for a full show by Bonnie and it was breached. The organizers of these events are professionals and aware of these risks AND THEY PAY BIG PREMIUMS FOR INSURANCE AGAINST THINGS LIKE POWER OUTAGES and the like. Little folk who bought tickets (that did not expressly provide that they'd bear that risk) should not feel bad asking for a refund. On the contrary, you spent money for not only the tic but gas, car wear and tear, parking, and substantial time to get there? Bonnie (or someone) should have announced how they'd make any of that "right" when they cancelled the concert. But I agree with Ste. Michelle that you should look to the party who you bought your ticket from. I sent Ticketmaster an email asking they make it right and am awaiting their reply and suggest other ticket holders to do likewise. You can be assured that someone somewhere down the line (not Bonnie) got paid big money for assuming this risk and is hoping you don't. Jerry Markham (Attorney from Kodiak Alaska).
Jeanne Gustafson September 11, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Thanks for your thoughtful response and your expertise, Gerald. I've seen many instances where ticketholders were offered refunds or at least comps if a concert was cancelled, and I would think this would be similar. It's through no fault of the people attending that the show was cut short.
Gerald Markham September 11, 2012 at 04:14 AM
Thank you Jeanne for your kind response. The fans right to a refund is much more hotly debated on the Woodinville Patch. In the 80's my wife and I flew from Kodiak to Vancouver BC to see Fleetwood Mac only to learn as we walked up to the gates that Steve Nicks had developed laryngitis and the show was cancelled at the last minute. but as here we'd purchased our tickets through Ticketmaster and their tic provided (then as now) for the refund of the price in the event of a "cancellation". A contract is a contract and we honor ours. So despite having spent well over $1000 on plane tics and a hotel (plus the tics) and though it did not remotely compensate us for our "loss" we didn't claim more. Bonnie's concert was no different. There is a concept in the law called "substantial performance" and had the power gone out on her last song that would be applicable (next to the last maybe). But as the Woodinville posts show it her performance was at best at 60% complete when it was "cancelled". The fans should get a refund (or as the ticketmaster tic specifically alternatively provides in the event of a cancellation) a tic to her concert if they can reschedule it within a year. Jerry Markham Attorney Kodiak PS: As I felt compelled to state as a result of a very derogatory reply of the Woodinville Patch I'm a very successful MARITIME attorney in Kodiak and not remotely seeking a (Washington) case here.


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