Concert Events: Cancel, Reschedule, Hold or the Heck With It?


Entertainment is a small but vital part of the casino business and the challenges we are facing out there don’t really have any precedent to refer to. Today, we find ourselves in uncharted territory with regards to our businesses.

So, I am going to try and address some terminology and processes we are all going to have to understand and work with regarding our concert events right now.

We are in the midst of cancellations and rescheduling of all concerts/gatherings of people, due to social distancing requirements and just plain common sense.

Here’s some points with some quick answers for you to refer to:

Already Contracted Shows

  • Since we are all under the same directives across the country – artists, agencies, buyers and guests, we are all looking for a good solution. Rescheduling is the first option.
  • If you have a contract with the artist that may be fully executed or in process, communicating directly with your buyer or agent is your first step. Make sure you are prepared for the conversation with workable dates you can move your event to. This is a time to have numerous options, so the agent/buyer has the tools they need to move your date. Keep in mind, everyone out there is trying to do the same thing, so be realistic and flexible.
  • So, your first step is to ask for “holds.” Many times an agent may have several holds in a region, for a specific date/time period or artist, so the terminology is 1st hold 2nd hold etc. Holds are a way to get on board with your date options. This is an important tool. You always need options.
  • Your contract can be amended and rescheduled with the use of a simple deal change memo. You don’t need to re-do the whole contract.
  • It’s always better to announce the rescheduling with the new date determined, rather than just leaving your guest/customer hanging. One announcement with the new date is much better than a cancelling announcement followed by a new date announcement.
  • If you can’t find a mutually agreeable new date for your show, then cancelling is the only other option. Given the environment we are in today, many times that is the only feasible answer. Make sure to put together a formal statement as to why and submit that with your cancellation.


  • For shows you have with tickets already on sale, you can tell the ticket holders their current ticket is good for the new date. Most people will choose this option. Otherwise, you can provide a refund. With tickets bought with cash, they will need to come to your casino for the refund. With so many properties closed temporarily, this will cause a delay for them to get their refund.

Big Picture

Looking forward, this pandemic doesn’t have a clear ending. People have been slow to react to the seriousness of this virus and recovering will also be slow. It’s not like everything will just pop back to normal. The economy is taking a hit no one could have seen coming and most people are more concerned with paying their bills. Discretionary cash is not going to be available for quite some time. Our business thrives on people getting out and having a good time. We need to plan accordingly. I think regional Tribal casinos will experience a recovery faster than places like Las Vegas, that are destinations. So, look for more reasonably priced events and promotions that your local guest will be looking for.

I am confident we will get through all of this, because we are a resilient industry. If I can help out with some information or advice, please don’t hesitate to call me 775-329-7864 or drop me an e-mail, [email protected].

Kell Houston