Technology / 03.30.22
I Was the King of Counterfeit Concert Tickets
MEL Magazine (03/28/22) Leon, Harmon
A man known as Conor recalls his rise and fall as the top seller of blinkers or fake tickets to live events, a practice that netted him hundreds of thousands of dollars before he was undone by technology. The Grateful Dead in the 1990s were his primary source of revenue, given the huge sell-outs at their concerts. Live event industry veteran Jon Bailey confirms that the Dead seldom had reserved seating at their shows, and "a general admission show is a million times easier to counterfeit than something with assigned seats." The AARP estimates that about 5 million counterfeit tickets are sold each year, mostly through online sales, while another report said about 12% of people who purchase a concert ticket online end up getting scammed. Bailey does not concur with Conor's claim that scalping is a victimless crime and that promoters were hardly concerned by it. "It's a safety issue when you start having too many people inside a building — or outdoors — whatever it is. You're exceeding the legal capacity," he notes. Conor's days as a blinker seller were numbered once Ticketmaster introduced barcodes, which are nearly impossible to forge.
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Tags: Music , News , Revenue