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Ticket buyers complain about Sundance Film Festival’s no-refunds policy

Requests for refunds came after Sundance canceled in-person screenings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) People visit historic Main Street in Park City on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021, walking past the Egyptian Theatre — one of the major venues of the Sundance Film Festival. The theater will again sit dark during Sundance, after officials canceled the in-person portion of the festival because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

People who bought tickets to in-person events at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival are finding they won’t be refunded now that the festival has been moved online, FOX 13 reports.

For the second year in a row, the Sundance Film Festival won’t be screening films in Utah because of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers announced Jan. 5.

Multiple people who spent hundreds of dollars on ticket packages with in-person benefits told FOX 13 that they feel disappointed and cheated by the festival’s refund policies.

One man, Scott Hossner, bought a $750 ticket package, which included 10 tickets — sold individually at $20 each — plus in-person perks that, because of the cancellation, are no longer available.

When Hossner contacted Sundance’s customer service, he told FOX 13, “they said, ‘Hey, guess what, you can spend $75 for those same tickets.’ They said, ‘You can either have those 10 virtual tickets or you can donate your $750 to the festival — take it or leave it.’ Those were the two options they presented.”

In a statement given to FOX 13 on Saturday night, the Sundance Institute — the nonprofit arts group that presents the festival — pointed out that it instituted the no-refunds policy from the outset “to continue to champion the essential storytellers of this generation.”

Sundance said it is offering alternatives to package holders, including “additional tickets to films this year or partial credit towards the cost of ticket packages for the 2023 festival” — which, Sundance hopes, will be back in person in Park City and Salt Lake City.

Read the full story, including the Sundance Institute’s full statement, at FOX 13.

Editor’s note: The Salt Lake Tribune and FOX 13 are content-sharing partners.

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