The bankruptcy of the Pemberton Music Festival’s organizers and the cancellation of the festival made headlines in 2017 with thousands of ticket holders left out of pocket. Where the tickets had been purchased using credit cards, the credit card companies issued refunds and then charged the refund back to the Festival’s ticket sellers.
At bankruptcy, the Festival organizers held over $3,300,000, mostly comprised of ticket sale proceeds. The ticket sellers went to court to claim against these funds, pointing to evidence that the Festival organizers had continued to allow sales even though they knew or ought to have known that the Festival would very likely not go ahead because they had failed to attract investors. The ticket sellers claimed against these funds under principles of unjust enrichment and constructive trust. If successful, their claim to these funds would have vaulted them ahead of other creditors in the bankruptcy.
Unfortunately for the ticket sellers and the remaining ticket holders, the court refused the relief sought, leaving them to claim equally along with all the other creditors in the bankruptcy