One in 12 music festival tickets are fake
Music festivals are full of puke, sewage, idiots and rubbish bands. So the news that one in every twelve ticket sold for music festivals is a fake should fill me with glee. I mean, irritating shite-hawks getting ripped off? HAHA!
Of course though, with this being a serious and good-hearted consumer something website, I have to point out that I'm not being entirely serious with my opening paragraph. Basically, that means I have to point out that some festivals aren't pukey at all.
If you're one of those moo-brained dipshits thinking of going to a musical event this summer, then be on your guard. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has sent out a warning that there's a lot of fraud going on around the UK music festival scene.
The figures – from a study of ticket frauds at all of last year's music festivals, published in the Guardian – also shows that, on average, if you're getting ripped off, it'll be to the tune of (roughly) £80 per person.
"We estimate that one in 12 of the fans are caught out by fake websites," says Kate Hobson, performance manager for Consumer Direct, the OFT's consumer protection body for anyone booking tickets online. "And we now know that the average loss to each fan is £80."
So how do they do it? Send out the scalpers with duff tickets when people go to pay on the door? Well, these days, things are a bit more sophisticated. These highly organised gangs use websites that mimic those used by bands and festivals to pocket your pennies.
"It is known to be linked to organised crime," says John Probyn, chief operating officer of Download, Britain's second-biggest music festival, which packed 110,000 fans into Castle Donington this year. "We have known about fake-ticketing websites for some time, but in the past three years it has developed into a big business."
"Every time we have tickets go on sale for a festival or a big show, you only have to do a quick search of the internet and can bet that half the sites that look official are, in fact, fakes."
Simply Red have been targeted by one team of scamsters who have set up a website called SimplyRedTour. Ian Grenfell, the band's manager, said: "When we first heard about the site, our lawyer managed to get it offline via their hosting company."
Alas, it reappeared on a different server which saw Grenfell enlisting the BPI in the fight.
The OFT has set up a website on www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/ticketscams to warn buyers how to avoid bogus tickets. Essentially, the news is this: Buy your tickets over the counter of a reputable store or go through the variety of rip-off gits that are well known and trusted outlets. Failing that, set up a crap blog and see if you can wangle freebies.