Sled Island assesses losses discusses refund policy

As you likely know by now Sled Island organizers were forced to cancel most of their festival this year due to the flooding that ravaged the city of Calgary. As such organizers have been working hard to assess the total damage and how they can move forward with refunding passes and planning next year’s event.

Right after it was cancelled festival manager Shawn Petsche told Fast Forward Weekly that organizers were working around the clock to come up with an official policy about refunds and any other questions passholders may have had. "We’re trying to be as open and transparent as we can too" he said. "We’re not going to go out there and say ‘This is our policy deal with it.’”

While they haven’t quite finalized a policy surrounding refunds for pass holders a new press release from Sled Island attempts to answer many frequently asked questions and explains that tickets for individual shows that were cancelled will be refunded. Here’s their official statement:


Sled Island will be refunding all individual tickets for shows that did not occur due to the cancellation of Sled Island 2013. If you purchased your ticket online Ticketfly will be automatically crediting you starting on Thursday July 11th. You should receive an e-mail notification shortly.

If you purchased your ticket at a retail outlet please return to that outlet with your ticket starting Friday July 12th to receive your refund.

If your purchased your ticket at the Sled Island office or at pass pick-up please come to the office between Monday-Friday 10am-5pm starting Friday July 12th to receive your refund. If you purchased with a credit card please bring your card or receipt. If you have any further questions regarding individually ticketed shows please contact us directly at shop@sledisland.com or 403-229-2901.

If you would like to re-invest in the festival directly and receive a charitable tax receipt we have set set up an InvestYYC page. You can donate now!


Will refunds be made available for pass holders?

The Sled Island team is still working hard to assess the festival’s financial standing and cash flow situation while sorting through its hundreds of partners funders providers and artists. While we are working as fast as possible the festival wants to be prudent and diligent to ensure that any policies adopted are actionable thoughtful and ensure that Sled Island is able to remain a fixture on Canada’s music & arts scene. We aim to be as transparent as possible as we work towards this assessment. Below are answers to some of the most common questions we have received.

Doesn’t your insurance cover refunds?

While Sled Island does carry multiple insurance policies these policies do not unfortunately cover the full cancellation of programming in over 38 different venues across the city; it never seemed a possibility.

How much money did the cancellation cost the festival?

We are still working to quantify our losses. A significant portion of our revenue comes from passes and individual tickets with additional income from beer sales made during the festival (primarily the Friday and Saturday of the festival which did not occur). If we were to refund every individual ticket and pass holder we would lose three significant streams of income projected to have been $500000.

Sled Island artists partners and providers have been gracious and understanding across the board and helped us to cut significant expenses. However the cancellation of shows does not excuse the festival from many non-refundable expenses including artist marketing rental and production fees associated with shows that occurred but also for the shows that were cancelled which include non-refundable deposits and travel expenses.

Essentially even though the festival was cancelled 70% of Sled Island’s expenses are non-refundable.

Though the final numbers are still being worked on at this stage the festival is facing a loss of up to $200000 as a result of the cancellation.

Will Sled Island 2013 be re-scheduled?

At this stage there are no plans to re-schedule any of the Sled Island 2013 shows.

We’d like to help! What can we do?

First off that is incredibly touching! Thank you!

If you would like to donate to the festival directly and receive a charitable tax receipt our InvestYYC page is now live. You can donate now!

If you would like to organize a fundraiser for Sled Island please e-mail us at info@sledisland.com to work on the details.

If you would like to offer help of a different kind please e-mail us at info@sledisland.com to figure out how!

Will a volunteer appreciation party still be happening?

Our 2013 volunteers were absolutely exceptional. While we are currently unable to focus our time and resources on organizing such a party volunteers you have not been forgotten. We have every intention of finding a way to say thank you in a meaningful way!

Will Sled Island be back in 2014?

We have every intention of being a fixture in Canada’s music and arts scene for years to come. Our festival-goers artists partners volunteers providers and staff have all shown such character and community support as well as concern for the festival during these unprecedented times that we know now more than ever just how important it is that Sled Island remain a sustainable and community-driven festival for years to come.