The music director of Boyup Book’s famous Country Music Festival, in Western Australia’s south-west, is concerned underhand tactics by a ticket re-selling website will have a detrimental impact on this week’s event.
Ticketing site Viagogo claims the entire festival is sold out, and prompts users to sign up to a ‘queue’ for when tickets become available.
Sharon Winter said she was concerned the site may be purchasing a large number of tickets to then sell at a profit.
“I don’t know how it works, to be honest, but it sounds like that’s what they do — purchase a certain number of tickets and then on-sell them at a greater price,” she said.
Ms Winter feared what impact it would have on actual ticket sales.
“The fact that numbers drop away and you can’t afford to carry on doing the event,” she said.
“We’re a small community, it is one event in our community that raises the profile of the area.
“It can have a devastating impact on the community and the entire south-west region … because it does bring a lot of money.”
The issue was first brought to the attention of event organisers two weeks ago, with a number of others voicing their concerns since.
Ms Winter said she was concerned that the site may be purchasing a large number of tickets to then sell at a profit.
She said the festival, which runs from Thursday February 15 to Sunday February 18, was “nowhere near selling out”, with capacity for double the number of patrons that usually attend.
Consumer protection warn against scalping sites
Ms Winter said event staff have contacted WA’s consumer protection organisation.
The Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard would not comment specifically on the Boyup Brook case, but in a statement warned ticket buyers to purchase through official channels.
“In most cases, consumers did not know they were dealing with an unauthorised seller and didn’t find out that their tickets were invalid until they were refused entry to the event, resulting in either missing out on the event or having to buy replacement tickets at the venue’s box office,” Mr Hillyard said.
“Consumers complain that tickets offered on reseller sites are issued with incorrect names, or are sometimes fake, and that they are charged hidden fees and charges.
“When the affected consumers attempt to contact Viagogo, they have reported experiencing extreme difficulty in getting a reply and, in many cases, not received a refund when requested.”
Organiser may contact ACCC
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) last year took out legal proceedings against Viagogo over a number of similar incidents.
The ACCC alleges the company “breached the Australian Consumer Law when reselling entertainment, music and live sport tickets”.
It said the matter was still before the Federal Court, however, referred to a previous statement which further alleged Viagogo misled consumers by “making representations on its website that tickets to certain events were scarce and likely to run out soon, without disclosing that this ‘scarcity’ referred to tickets on its website only”.
Ms Winter said it was too early to tell what sort of impact the incident would have on the event.
“We have good numbers to our event, which we are really happy with, but something like this can really turn the cards on us,” she said.
“We don’t know until next weekend comes along what sort of an impact [it may have], or who may have bought tickets through this other site.”
Viagogo has been contacted for comment.
This Article Was Originally Posted at www.einnews.com