This Halloween Pasquale Rotella, the CEO of Insomniac Events, spoke out about ticket scalpers and the over crowding outside the gate of Escape. Many people bought tickets from unknown sources and were given fake tickets. With people planning to crash the gates and the 1,000 tickets sold by scalpers, the wait time and lines were much more than expected.
With Pasquale speaking out about ticket scalpers we thought it would be a good idea to look at the issue and the best ways to protect your money and guarantee your experience.
First of all, remember that scalping is not illegal in many states. In Oregon “use of software to interfere with ticket sales is prohibited” but in Washington there are no laws for ticket scalping. Because many states do not have any laws against ticket scalping, this makes your job as a consumer more important.
To help you not have to deal with scalpers or 2nd party sellers, here are some tips to make sure you get the first go around of tickets. Join Facebook event pages, and venue/promoting pages. Promoters release a ton of information on Facebook and twitter first. For example Red Cube recently released a number of tickets for a sold out show in Portland. They announced the ticket release on Facebook.
Follow and subscribe to artists. To get the best priced ticket you have to be up to date on the artists and festivals. Artists release promo codes through email. Kaskade released a promo code for his Automatic tour, which was later shared on the event page by fans. Download apps like Bandsintown to make sure you are aware of who and when artists are coming to town. The best thing to do is your research.
But what if a show sells out and you find yourself in need of a ticket? We asked Ian Jurgensen with Foundation Nightclub to see what he thought was the best way to deal with scalpers. His big thing was don’t buy from scalpers, it will just encourages scalpers to continue. If people keep giving their money to scalpers, they will keep doing it. If a show sells out, his advice is to either wait for the next tour from that artist, “Or if financially possible, think about traveling to a nearby city and catching them at a venue you haven’t been to before.”
If you can’t wait for an artists next tour remember to be cautious. Ticket scalpers are all over the internet.
“You’ll find scalpers all over, Stubhub, craigslist, Facebook, pretty much anywhere you can post something for sale, you’ll find an overpriced ticket to a show you want to see… and don’t fall for these guys that say ‘Two tickets for sale, give me your best offer’ They’re like the reverse psychology assholes of the scalping world. ‘I’m not a bad guy cause he offered me $100 a ticket’ … No, you’re still an asshole,” Ian said.
Kaskade once met up with a scalper and outed him out for reselling redux tickets. Ian also takes action when dealing with scalpers.
“On our big shows at Foundation, I always browse our transaction details on our ticketing site. It’s fairly easy for me, because of our capacity, to spot someone that’s bought too many tickets, or people that have bought tickets but live out of state. I immediately void them and deactivate their accounts.”
So what can we do as consumers to help this situation?
“Report it if possible, flag it as spam, kick them out of public/private Facebook groups… basically make it as difficult as possible for them to advertise their overpriced ticket,” he said. “I think everyone has an obligation first and foremost to NOT buy the tickets, and secondly, try your best to find out who the person is if the ad appears to be anonymous.”
Scalpers don’t always understand that they are doing something wrong. Instead of our money going to the venues and artists, it is going to scalpers.
Tickets are always going to be in high demand, but as a buyer make sure you educate yourself, learn what you can about the business and don’t promote scalping. We are a community based on love, and respect, please promote that. Speak up against scalpers and the people ruining shows for others. We should not suffer because someone has a faster internet.
Get all the latest Pacific Northwest nightlife news, directly to your inbox.