The organiser behind the cancelled 1 World Music Festival, which was meant to have happened on Sept 20 and 21, say they have begun processing the refunds for all ticket buyers.

But it may take up to a month before customers get their money back.

The music festival had been scheduled to take place at the Marina Barrage over the Formula One weekend, with a stellar line-up that included American DJ and music producer Moby, rapper and reggae artist Snoop Lion and British rapper Tinie Tempah.

Refunds for 1 World Music Festival begin
Hip-hop act Far East Movement (above), rapper Snoop Lion and more were originally scheduled to perform at 1 World Music Festival

Organiser Retfar Entertainment has yet to offer an official explanation for the abrupt cancellation, which was announced on its website and via e-mail just two days before the event.

Mr Gregory Gumo, managing director of Retfar Entertainment (Singapore), went only as far as to admit in a previous interview with Life! that ticket sales for the event were “weak”, without giving further details.

Tickets to the event cost from $118, while table bookings started from $2,988.

A Retfar spokesman confirmed that refunds began on Sept 25, for all ticket purchases made by cash, PayPal, credit card and mail order telephone order.

However, she added that it may take up to four weeks, especially for those who purchased tickets through ticket sales providers Ticketbooth and Malaysia-based AirAsia Redtix, to see the money refunded to their credit cards.

Purchases made by PayPal may take up to seven days to be refunded, while mail order telephone orders may take up to two weeks to be refunded.

The spokesman said refunds will take longer for some depending on the mode of payment, due to the difference in processing time by the credit card companies and ticket sales providers.

For major ticket sale providers such as Sistic, refunds typically start within a week or two following event cancellation announcements and approval from the event promoter to pay back customers.

Ticketholders who made purchases using credit or debit cards will be automatically refunded.

Those who used cash or Nets cards will be refunded separately, which can take another two weeks.

A few disappointed festivalgoers told Life! that they learnt of the event’s cancellation from word of mouth or via Facebook, and that the process of refunds was not clear.

Ms Yu Cher Jou, 31, a writer with a financial publication, said she “had to call up Ticketbooth for a refund”, and that “nothing really formal in terms of notification was given”.

But she noted that her friends who purchased directly from the Retfar Entertainment website got their refunds, and that she would wait for her credit card refund.

Ms Yu adds that she “will definitely be more cautious” the next time she purchases tickets for an event organised by Retfar.

“It has every right (to cancel the event and inform people the way it did)… but it feels like it was not done professionally.”

This story was first published in The Straits Times on October 3, 2013. For similar stories, go to sph.straitstimes.com/premium/singapore. You will not be able to access the Premium section of The Straits Times website unless you are already a subscriber.