An unusually large surge of counterfeit tickets left a lot of fans unhappy outside the Pharrell Williams and Bruno Mars show at the Hollywood Bowl last weekend. They paid money to somebody, came with what the thought was a ticket in hand, and had to be turned away. From ZevWeb:
Hundreds of Bruno Mars and Pharrell Williams fans found themselves “Locked Out of Heaven” at the Hollywood Bowl last weekend—and they were none too “Happy” about it. Bowl officials estimate that several hundred would-be concertgoers were turned away from the sold-out shows when their tickets were rejected as counterfeits.
Faux ticket scams are, unfortunately, an increasingly common part of the live concert landscape. Some U2 fans were shut out of the Irish rockers’ Rose Bowl appearance in 2009. Two years ago, a number of Coldplay fans who had paid from $200 for $400 for their tickets found that they too had been duped with bogus tickets to the band’s shows at the Hollywood Bowl.
The profusion of counterfeit tickets this past weekend was widespread enough that, after the first concert on Saturday night, an anonymous Bowl employee was moved to spread the word on Craigslist in a post headlined: “Beware—I saw a lot of fake Bruno Mars tickets.”
“The event has been sold out for a while and tickets range from 200 for nosebleeds to about 1500 for front row,” the warning said, “so if someone is selling good seats for a small amount of money they are probably fake.”
In other words, watch out for deals that seem too good to be true. But be aware that even shelling out a lot for a ticket is no guarantee it’s genuine.
“It’s heartbreaking to have to turn away patrons who we know paid sometimes as much as four times face value for a fraudulent ticket,” says Gail Samuel, chief operating officer for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which runs the county-owned Bowl under a lease agreement. “When we have a sold-out show like Bruno Mars, there is really nothing we can do to help them.”