On Friday night, Bad Bunny soared above a sea of screaming fans, sparkling wristbands and flashing cellphones as he climbed atop a flying palm tree inside a stadium in Mexico City – the last leg of the reggaeton artist’s “World’s Hottest Tour”.
It was the last chance for fans to catch the award-winning Puerto Rican singer before his announced hiatus next year. And while thousands of people could see Bad Bunny wave the Mexican flag on stage, sing his hits with special guests and perform under a kaleidoscopic explosion of colored lights, hundreds of fans were refused entry after An “unprecedented number” of spectators have been sold counterfeit tickets, Ticketmaster said in a statement Saturday.
“This caused unusual overcrowding and the intermittent operation of our system, which resulted in confusion and complicated entry into the stadium, with the unfortunate consequence that some legitimate tickets were denied entry,” the official said. company on Twitter, adding that fans who acquired “legitimate tickets through official channels” would be fully refunded.
The ticketing fiasco in Mexico is the latest debacle to shake Ticketmaster. Last month, the company’s chaotic rollout of pre-sale tickets for Taylor Swift’s upcoming tour led to legal action by fans and investigations by attorneys general in several states. Now another legal battle and government investigation could be heading.
Shortly before midnight Friday, Ricardo Sheffield, head of Mexico’s consumer protection agency, posted on Twitter that he had requested a report from Ticketmaster on the Bad Bunny concert situation. In an interview with Radio Fórmula the following day, Sheffield said the Office of the Federal Consumer Attorney (PROFECO) had already received around 1,600 complaints from fans who had been denied entry to the Azteca stadium in Mexico City.
Sheffield said PROFECO will require Ticketmaster to reimburse fans and also pay them additional compensation worth 20% of the ticket price. Additionally, the company will be forced to pay a fine that could represent up to 10% of its profits in 2021, he said.
PROFECO has already received complaints about the company, Sheffield said, and has been preparing to launch a class action lawsuit against the entertainment giant since earlier this month – in part over allegations that Ticketmaster oversold tickets to its events. , as he is charged to do for Friday’s concert.
The tickets “were not forged. Ticketmaster said they were tampered with; but they issued them all,” Sheffield told Radio Fórmula, calling the situation “an elegant way to oversell.”
Ticketmaster declined to respond to Sheffield’s allegations, instead referring The Washington Post to the company’s statement on Twitter.
While Ticketmaster has primarily used digital tickets in the United States since 2018, the company still uses a paper system in Mexico. Although its digital tickets are protected against “screenshots or photocopies and multiple sales by unscrupulous resellers”, paper tickets are easier to duplicate and forge.
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Aitana Hernández, a longtime and hardcore Bad Bunny fan, told the Post that she was among hundreds of people whose tickets were falsely deemed to be fake.
Hernández, who said he bought his ticket from Ticketmaster in February, had camped outside Azteca Stadium since Thursday morning, wearing a wide-brimmed hat and a giant heart-logo suit in “Un Verano Sin Ti,” Bad Bunny’s latest album. After waiting outside for 30 hours, she said she was the 12th person in line when the doors opened. And that’s where the heartbreak began.
“They started bouncing people — the girl in front of me, then me and then seven people after,” she said. “They told me my ticket had been canceled or was a fake.”
Hernández showed the workers on site his receipt and his Ticketmaster account. Then they called the bank to confirm the transaction. By 10 p.m., she had waited in five different queues and had her paper ticket checked multiple times — only to be told “if it doesn’t pass, it doesn’t pass,” she said. Around her, Hernández said, some spectators tried to climb over a fence while others had their tickets ripped in front of them; tearful sobs and angry cries echoed around her.
“I’m so sick of it,” she said. “As a fan, you prefer to buy tickets from [Ticketmaster] instead of resale, because that’s how you know your tickets aren’t fake. So who are we supposed to trust? »
Although stadium security wouldn’t let her through initially, Hernández saw “a total miracle” happen on Friday night. The sobbing pleas she had tossed out on Instagram went viral – “People all over social media started demanding: let the crying heart in!” she says. Westwood Entertainment, a music production company in Mexico that was drawing a ticket, noticed him and offered him an entry.
When she got to the front row, Bad Bunny was playing “Moscow Mule,” a synth-infused song inspired by the artist’s drink of choice.
“I cried, even during the songs you’re not supposed to cry on,” Hernández said. “A few girls there started asking me if I was okay, and when I told them what happened, they just kept hugging me.”
“That moment was mine, and I will never forget it,” she added. “But I was one of the lucky ones. My heart breaks for everyone else. Those responsible for the ticket craze must be held accountable.
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