For today's concert-goer, online ticketing is often the way to go. Gone are the days when music fans would line up at the mall outside of their closest Ticketmaster outlets, hours, or even days, before tickets to their favourite band's concert would go on sale. These days fans can get concert tickets right from the comfort of your own home, but the added convenience comes with a price.
Buying tickets online directly from music venues, Ticketmaster, the band's official website, or the tour promoter is generally a safe bet, but there exists a large grey area that some people are taking advantage of.
Recently in the UK there have been rashes of ticket sales for concerts that don't even exist. According to The Times, one website, "was offering tickets for summer concerts featuring Radiohead, the Arctic Monkeys, the Kaiser Chiefs and KT Tunstall at Somerset House, London, at £125 each. According to the venue, none of these acts had been booked. Promoters said that the artists concerned had already signed contracts to appear at other British festivals that would rule out such performances."
The site, identified as anyworldwideevent.com, was also selling illegitimate tickets to non-musical events, including the London 2012 Olympics and the Wimbledon tennis championships. And they are only one of the sites out there boasting false tickets.
Once bands and other events get wind of these false ticket sales they generally contact the site and ask them to stop sales. From there, the site is often forced to give out refunds. The tricked fans will get their money back. but not before the company has put the money in the bank and gained some interest. They then skim off a 'booking fee' for the false dates.
But don't think that fake tickets are only a problem in the UK - sellers on eBay or other ticket brokers can pull off similar schemes anywhere in the world.
To make sure you're not being duped, try to buy your tickets from either the band's concert promoter or official fan club, the venue that's holding the concert, or of course, Ticketmaster. Secondly, make sure to double check that concert dates actually exist by either dropping by the band's website, or visiting legit music news sources such as Billboard, Livedaily, or preferably SoulShine.ca!
Writer: Michelle Garcia