Ticketmaster Mexico stands to face millions of dollars in fines after more than a thousand fans were denied entrance to Bad Bunny’s concert in Estadio Azteca over the weekend, after being told that their tickets were not valid.
Ricardo Sheffield, Mexico’s federal consumer attorney, told local press fines to Ticketmaster Mexico could total up to 10% of the company’s earnings in 2021. He said the exact fine amount will be announced later this week.
According to Sheffield, his office has processed at least 1,600 refund requests from fans who bought legitimate tickets to attend the concert and couldn’t get in.
These fans are entitled to a full refund from Ticketmaster Mexico plus a “compensation of no less than 20% of the price paid” for their ticket, according to Sheffield’s office.
On Friday, when Bad Bunny was set to finalize his “World’s Hottest Tour” with the first of two shows in Latin America’s largest stadium, complaints from concertgoers who were denied entry began to pile up. Despite having purchased their tickets legally through Ticketmaster, many were told that their tickets had been duplicated or “cloned,” meaning their ticket had already been used by someone else.
Estadio Azteca confirmed on Friday that Ticketmaster Mexico had “detected cases of duplication and/or falsification of tickets,” even though it was “a situation that is totally unrelated to the Estadio Azteca.”
As a result, “these accesses were canceled,” stadium officials said in a statement Friday. The move was made to “guarantee the safety of all those attending the Bad Bunny concert.”
“Affected individuals are encouraged to file their complaints directly with the Ticketmaster service,” they added.
“Due to the cloning of tickets for the singer Bad Bunny’s first concert” on Friday, the office of Mexico’s federal consumer attorney sent a team of people to Estadio Azteca on Saturday to help consumers facing ticketing issues ahead of Bad Bunny’s second show.
With over 90,000 attendees, Bad Bunny’s second show in Estadio Azteca marked his biggest one to date,” according to a press release.
“WOW!!! WHAT A NIGHT!!! THANK YOU MEXICO!!! THANK YOU AMERICA FOR THE BEST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE!!!!” Bad Bunny tweeted on Sunday in Spanish. “I TAKE THIS TOUR IN MY HEART FOREVER!! LONG LIVE LATIN AMERICA!!! LONG LIVE MUSIC IN SPANISH!!!”
Bad Bunny’s media representative did not respond to a request for comment over the Ticketmaster Mexico’s screwup Friday.
Ticketmaster Mexico said in a statement Monday that it has been collaborating with the office of Mexico’s federal consumer attorney, which is investigating Friday’s events.
The company said the demand for Bad Bunny concert tickets in Mexico City was “the highest in the country’s history, registering more than 4.5 million people in search for one of the barely 120,000 available at the Estadio Azteca for both shows.”
Equally unprecedented was the “number of fake tickets, purchased outside our official channels,” according to Ticketmaster Mexico.
This, compounded with a “temporary intermittence in the ticket reading system” caused confusion among access control personnel at the venue on Friday, “which unfortunately made it impossible for some moments to recognize the identification of legitimate tickets,” the company said.
“It is important to emphasize that there was no overcrowding or overselling of tickets,” Ticketmaster Mexico said in Spanish.
The company touted their efforts to take “all the necessary technological and logistical measures to prevent a repeat” of what happened Friday night on Saturday.
Consumers have voiced concerns over ticket duplication issues and cancelations involving Ticketmaster Mexico in recent months for other large-scale concerts by artists such as Daddy Yankee, Harry Styles and Dua Lipa.
Sheffield has said his office has received complaints from enough consumers that his office is getting ready to file a class-action lawsuit against the company.
Ticketmaster Mexico has said the company “does not tolerate or participate in ticket reselling, which it has historically denounced to the authorities and encouraged actions against it.” It also “repudiates the sale of tickets outside of the official points of sale, where fake tickets are frequently offered.”
The company has apologized to fans who bought legitimate tickets through their official channels and were denied entry to the concert.Ticketmaster Mexico has agreed to provide these fans the full refund in addition to a compensation of 20% of the cost of the purchased ticket.