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AC/DC Promoters Fined Over Axl Rose-Fronted Show

Axl Rose and Brian Johnson
Gustavo Caballero / Getty Images

Spanish authorities have fined AC/DC promoters Live Nation for refusing to issue ticket refunds to fans who didn’t want to see Axl Rose fronting the band.

And they’re urging those who remain unhappy to take action, saying they have five years from the date of the show to reclaim their cash.

Last year, AC/DC singer Brian Johnson was ordered to quit performing with immediate effect or risk permanent hearing loss. The band then hired Guns N’ Roses‘ frontman to take his place, in a move that was widely criticized at first, but was later met with general approval.

After the lineup change, Live Nation assured fans in Spain that anyone who no longer wanted to attend the previously announced show in Seville on May 10 would be granted a refund. But the company stopped accepting applications three days later as a result of high demands – a move that Seville city authorities have branded it a “breach of commitment.” As a result, Live Nation has been fined €15,000 and narrowly escaped being charged €30,000.

“After the complaint of Consumers in Action, the promoter has been fined for refusing to return money to numerous users who claimed it after the replacement of Brian Johnson with Axl Rose,” Spanish consumers’ group FACUA said. “FACUA warned that the replacement meant a substantial change in the conditions of the concert, and was a justified cause for claiming a refund. Live Nation assured they would ‘return money to those who asked for it’ without setting a deadline.”

Live Nation told some claimants who applied, “We regret to inform you that we have stopped serving requests for reimbursement.” But FACUA said that other fans were simply ignored, even if they’d made contact before the cutoff date.

The action group added that Rose’s broken foot – which forced him to perform while sitting on a stage throne – “altered the characteristics of the show” and was “an added motive to complain.”

“Affected users can still claim their money back,” FACUA noted. “They only have to file a claim in court. There is no need for an attorney. The civil code establishes a period of five years to submit claims of breach of contract.”

The future of AC/DC remains in doubt after the band completed its world tour in support of 2014’s Rock or Bust. Last year, guitarist Angus Young said he felt “obligated” to keep the band going.

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