Stay alert!

Festival season is just around the corner! While it promises to be amazingly fun, this is also a period during which fake tickets proliferate all over the web. This is not an isolated phenomenon, but part of a grey market that affects the interests of the public, artists, and festivals alike. At the instigation of Paléo Festival Nyon, Montreux Jazz Festival, Festi’neuch, and the Swiss Music Promoters Association (SMPA), the Fédération Romande des Consommateurs (Federation of French-speaking Consumers, FRC) has relaunched its Ticket Check campaign to raise public awareness.

From exorbitantly priced tickets to fake tickets and misleading ads on social media, scammers have proven to be particularly imaginative and cunning. This rapidly expanding phenomenon has been facilitated by the unregulated grey market in Switzerland and the widespread use of mobile money exchange.

Despite the technological measures put in place by festivals to curb the grey market, scams frequently occur via parallel resale sites and social media. In these cases, scammers act without being in possession of a ticket and disappear once the transaction has been completed without issuing the precious ticket, leaving festivals with little or no room for manoeuvre.

To avoid unpleasant surprises, the three Swiss festivals and the Swiss Music Promoters Association have joined forces with FRC to remind you of what you can do:

  • buy tickets only from the official event box office;
  • never buy tickets from a stranger;
  • check availability and actual ticket prices;
  • in the event of a visibly fraudulent ad, report it;
  • if a scam has been committed, report it to FRC and lodge a complaint.

What’s the grey market?

A few minutes after the opening of festival ticket offices, ads for tickets start appearing on resale platforms, sometimes at obscene prices. This parallel resale market is known as the ‘grey market’. This problematic practice is nevertheless legal in Switzerland, which limits the sector’s scope for action and creates an environment where scams can proliferate. FRC would like to remind you that it is important to submit your story to the association, in order to contribute to its efforts to make resale platforms more accountable.

Fédération romande des consommateurs - Resources