Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Ticketmaster fined for Bad Bunny ticket fiasco in Mexico City

Ticketmaster faces a large fine for overselling tickets to Bad Bunny’s Mexico City concert on Friday, which led to dangerous crushes and numerous legitimate ticket holders being denied entry.

Ricardo Sheffield, the head of Mexico’s consumer protection agency (Profeco), announced that Ticketmaster would be fined “up to 10% of their sales for all of last year” for the fiasco. In addition, they must reimburse affected fans 100% of the ticket price plus 20% extra in compensation.

Speaking on Radio Formula, Sheffield emphasized that Ticketmaster had knowingly oversold tickets to the concert and then attempted to cover up by claiming the excess tickets were falsified.

“Ticketmaster said they [the tickets] were fake, but they were all issued by them. It’s a very elegant way to oversell,” he said.

The consumer protection agency Profeco invited those negatively affected by the ticketing problems to join a collective action against the business, via Twitter. 

The oversale caused chaotic scenes at Mexico City’s 85,000-capacity Azteca Stadium on Friday, with severe overcrowding and repeated failures of the ticketing system at the entrances to a sold-out concert by Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny.

The stadium was forced to turn away hundreds of ticket holders and call on the support of private security personnel and the capital police to ensure the safety of attendees.

Media outlets reported fury among disappointed fans, some of whom had paid as much as 9,000 pesos (US $450), traveled across the country and queued since the previous day to see the artist.

Immediately following the incident, a statement by Azteca Stadium declared: “Elements of Ticketmaster detected cases of duplication and/or falsification of tickets for tonight’s concert, a situation that is totally alien to the Azteca Stadium. Affected persons are encouraged to lodge their complaints directly with the Ticketmaster service.”

On Saturday, Ticketmaster released a statement via Twitter apologizing to fans and reiterating the falsification claim.

“The problems at the entrances were due to the presentation of an unprecedented number of fake tickets, which caused unusual overcrowding and intermittent operation of our system,” the company stated. “This caused confusion and complicated entry to the stadium, with the regrettable consequence that some legitimate tickets were denied entry.”

Profeco’s rejection of the falsification claim will likely compound existing legal woes for Ticketmaster. During his Radio Formula interview, Sheffield revealed that Profeco has received previous complaints about Ticketmaster’s practices and has been preparing a class-action lawsuit against the company since earlier this month.

The fines and investigations add to the legal woes Ticketmaster is already dealing with in the United States. The company faces investigations by multiple U.S. state attorney generals and a lawsuit from angry fans, after shutting down the presale of tickets for Taylor Swift’s “Eras” tour last month in the face of unprecedented demand.

With reports from Reforma, Forbes and Washington Post

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