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gaypalmsprings
04-06-2011, 06:27 AM
Coachella Music Festival organizers urging caution in the hunt for passes to sold-out event

12:50 AM, Apr. 6, 2011

Written by Mariecar Mendoza

Don't get scammed

While the first piece of advice for those trying to avoid getting ripped off is simply: “Do not buy from anyone or any site other than the true source” — i.e. the venue or the event's contracted ticket vendor like Ticketmaster, Coachella co-founder Paul Tollett of Goldenvoice promoters knows there's no stopping the outside sale of festival wristbands.

“Obviously I don't condone buying from anyone but the true source, but if it was me, I would ask the person for their driver's license number or something like that,” Tollett said. “If you're buying from some dude from the Internet, get something about him so that if he tries to scam you, you have a way to report him. If that person isn't willing to do that, he's probably not legit.”

Indio police spokesman Ben Guitron agrees and emphasizes that wristband-seekers never use cash or provide personal information like date of birth or Social Security number.

Instead, use a check or money order so that you have the ability to cancel the transaction.

Ideally, Guitron said such deals should be made in person in a public place such as in front of a bank, grocery store or coffee shop that has surveillance cameras. Make sure to take note of the vehicle, license plate number and any description of the person.

Never meet with a ticket seller alone, and schedule meeting times during daylight.

If the deal is being made via snail-mail, Guitron suggests requesting the wristband be sent through a nationally known carrier like UPS or FedEx.

“Study the Coachella website and hopefully between that and a little common sense, you'll make a good decision,” Guitron said, emphasizing that festival-goers check www.coachella.com for its latest updates, tips, rules and regulations.

If you're a victim of a scam, report the incident as promptly as possible to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Coachella Music and Arts festival fans get desperate — and creative

From craigslist.org: “I am offering a week stay at my beach home near Daytona Beach, Florida for two three-day passes to Coachella.”

From the Coachella message board: “Anyone up for a trade? I just bought an iPad and want to go to Coachella instead. The iPad is unopened. I waited in line for 2 hours. I payed [sic] $665 for it (tax included). So trading for 2 tickets is a fair trade.”

From craigslist.org: “I have 2 wristbands. I want an iPad2 3G AT&T. Make me an offer.”

From Coachella message board: “I am now throwing a SWEEPSTAKES for my extra camping pass. Unless some hot girls get at me with a reason not to, I'm now thinking of a magic number and will sell my extra camping pass at face value to whoever makes the same post # in this thread that I'm thinking of ... Let the games begin.”

From craigslist.org: “I'm deploying on April 25th and wanted to celebrate my 21st b-day at Coachella (April 17th). Willing to pay $300 to $350 each ticket.”

Kris Hopping has been going to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival for the past seven years, never missing a beat.

But the 37-year-old La Quinta resident said this year all she can do is keep her fingers crossed hoping for a “Coachella miracle.”

“My brother and I use our tax refund money every year to buy our tickets. When they sold out, I had not even gotten my W-2 yet,” Hopping said.

Hopping, who is a mother of two, has gone every year with her 34-year-old brother, Scott Kulander, who drives in from Los Angeles.

The duo spends hours plotting their daily concert itinerary so they can catch at least 12 bands a day. The fanatics even received side stage access in 2009 for winning “Carpoolchella,” a festival competition that encourages attendees to carpool.

“It is my one weekend a year to not be a mom and to just have fun and enjoy music,” Hopping said. “It's crazy how fast the tickets went. I couldn't believe it ... and now I'm just bummed.”

The speed at which Coachella tickets sold out has left many fans like Hopping angry and disappointed.

The three-day wristbands, which cost $269 each, sold out by 4 p.m. on Jan. 26 — just six days after being available online through Ticketmaster.

Concert promoters are emphasizing they will not be releasing more wristbands before the festival.

Lissa Rocha of Indio, 26, also missed out and is now depending on the raffle the city of Indio is conducting, which will draw 10 lucky winners April 11 for free passes to the 12th annual music festival.

Coachella co-founder Paul Tollett of the L.A.-based Goldenvoice promoters called the record-breaking sellout an anomaly, which has presented organizers and fans alike with new challenges.

“I have to admit, we were a little caught off guard,” Tollett said. “I had no idea it was going to go so quick. I don't think anyone did.”

Some Coachella fans allege scalpers bought up all the passes to turn a profit.
But Tollett said they've again limited orders to six wristbands per credit card or address, and did not allow cash sales so that purchases could be monitored to thwart scalpers. That method enabled them to cancel dozens of orders that tried to trick the system, Tollett said.

“We did our best this year, but I know we can do better. I just don't have the answer right now,” he said.

Tollett also emphasized that wristbands were available on layaway as early as December. But he did call the current situation a “learning experience” and assured fans that organizers are brainstorming solutions.

The ideas include upping efforts to make sure the passes are non-transferable by continuing to eschew paper tickets in favor of wristbands with embedded microchips, photos and names.

“We have a responsibility to the people who want to go and pay for this experience to figure it out,” Tollett said.

Raising ticket prices also has been discussed as a way to thin out the group of festival-goers, but it has never really been a strategy organizers wanted to implement.

“I don't want to hurt the people who support us,” Tollett said. “We aren't trying to take advantage of the people who want to go, but because we aren't — other people are, and that's just a bummer.”

Hawkers flood net

Shortly after the wristbands sold out, websites from craigslist.org to StubHub! and eBay were flooded with hawkers selling each three-day wristband for $400 to more than $1,000.

What came next were posts by angry buyers such as Zoe Tinsley, 32, of Santa Maria.

Last week, after not receiving the three wristbands she thought she secured with a $570 deposit, Tinsley posted a message telling “Coachella festival pass buyers BEWARE” of the person who duped her on craigslist.org.

The wristbands were for Tinsley; her fiance, 40-year-old Marcus Degas; and a friend who recently became an ordained rabbi just to marry the couple at the music festival — the site where the two met during Coachella 2006.
“We didn't mean to not buy from coachella.com like we usually do, but this was our only option,” Tinsley said, referring to the surprisingly quick sellout of this year's event. “The only way I can even top the day I met Marcus at Coachella is to get married to him at Coachella ... and now I don't know if we'll be able to it.”

Other posts like Tinsley's advise ticket-seekers to avoid any requests for too much personal information, any sort of pre-payment or simply too much money.

On March 29, the Twitter community was also warned by @Coachella to not purchase fake wristbands. The tweet included a photo of an imposter and read: “Do not purchase these FAKE wristbands. They are not authentic, they do not contain our RFID Chip or encryption.”

A craiglist.org poster who hails from San Diego even posted an enthusiastic “F U Coachella scalpers” announcement urging his fellow music lovers to not support ticket hoarders who just turn around and sell them for twice as much.“Everyone stand tall and don't get ripped off,” the anonymous poster exclaimed.

Fans ‘adopt' friends

While the popular festival has spawned a few scam artists, there are still kind-hearted festival fans as well.

Charlene Volpe of Los Angeles created the “Coachella Adoption 2011” Facebook group for those who don't have friends with whom to go to the massive festival.

The group has 250 members with hundreds more waiting to be confirmed as members.

“Suddenly, thousands of people were literally finding themselves having to go without their friends and I figured, why don't we all just go together?” Volpe said.

Volpe has since matched “adoptees” with other lone festival-goers from all over the country. The group plans to camp together to create a community she has dubbed “Tent City.”

“Everyone should be able to experience Coachella and I'd just hate to hear people not enjoy the festival just because their regular group of friends weren't able to get tickets,” she said.

Chris Carreon, 21, of Los Angeles is just one of the adoptees who plans to camp at Tent City.

Carreon had expected to go with a group of 20 fraternity brothers this year but only three of them were able to get wristbands — he wasn't one of the three.

But just when Carreon thought he would also have to stay home with his unlucky fraternity brothers, last week he broke down and handed over $425 to someone he found on craigslist.org.

Still, until Carreon makes it through the gates he's at risk of having bought a fake wristband — a risk Hopping said she and her brother aren't willing to take.

“Last year, we saw people who couldn't get in because they had fake tickets and we just don't want to be that guy who says, ‘I just paid $400. What do you mean it isn't real?'” Hopping said.

So for Hopping, her brother and friends, it's the waiting, wishing and praying game.

“I would love for a Coachella miracle so that we could go,” Hopping said.
And according to the ever- increasing number of desperate posts on various message boards and websites, others are hoping for that miracle, too.

koryp
04-06-2011, 08:11 AM
Great summation of the last three months of the board; shame they didn't write about Lotus. Thanks for the post GPS!

EmLeaux
04-06-2011, 08:22 AM
Coachella Music Festival organizers urging caution in the hunt for passes to sold-out event

Carreon had expected to go with a group of 20 fraternity brothers this year but only three of them were able to get wristbands — he wasn't one of the three.

I'll go ahead and say it: Brochella 2011.

Thanks for posting this. It was a great read first thing in the morning.

wstsidela
04-06-2011, 08:34 AM
I blame the Japanese tsunami for the sell-out

koryp
04-06-2011, 08:46 AM
I blame the Japanese tsunami for the sell-out

So, you're saying Bjork caused the sell out without even being on the line up. That crazy witch and her pendulum! (http://www.coachella.com/forum/showthread.php?t=46386)

concertgoer
04-06-2011, 08:51 AM
I'll go ahead and say it: Brochella 2011.

Thanks for posting this. It was a great read first thing in the morning.

17 less frat boys though :thu

fatbastard
04-06-2011, 08:55 AM
Those fake wristbands better not slow my time in entering the site.

I'm hopeful that those who have been duped will take the iniciative to move out of the way. Maybe a "tell your fake wristband story" area aside from the entrance should be set up.

EmLeaux
04-06-2011, 09:03 AM
17 less frat boys though :thu

So true!

indietron
04-06-2011, 09:11 AM
Nice article. Thanks GPS!

nosurprises12
04-06-2011, 09:15 AM
Good find; it might be worth posting this in the "Tickets" forum as well.

Pea
04-06-2011, 09:35 AM
Good read. Makes me feel a lot better about the way I went about obtaining my hotel reservation. I bought it through a 3rd party seller, but he is a realtor in the Indio area and provided me with his realtor licence number and work phone number which all checked out with the national realtor's registry and his employer's website. We used paypal for the transaction and he also sent me a receipt of his own so there is proof of the payment. It still feels weird sending some random Joe 2 states away money for something like that, but I also take comfort knowing I have a good amount of his personal information.

Suffacated
04-06-2011, 09:43 AM
Coachella Music Festival organizers urging caution in the hunt for passes to sold-out event


“Study the Coachella website and hopefully between that and a little common sense, you'll make a good decision,” Guitron said, emphasizing that festival-goers check www.coachella.com for its latest updates, tips, rules and regulations.


Coachella Music and Arts festival fans get desperate — and creative


Boy.....are they in for a rude awakening.

JustSteve
04-06-2011, 10:12 AM
The ideas include upping efforts to make sure the passes are non-transferable by continuing to eschew paper tickets in favor of wristbands with embedded microchips, photos and names.

glastochella

brokenDREAMS
04-06-2011, 10:17 AM
thanks GPS, just sent the article link to a friend looking for tix.

Stickjohn
04-06-2011, 10:47 AM
Coachella Music Festival organizers urging caution in the hunt for passes to sold-out event
...If the deal is being made via snail-mail, Guitron suggests requesting the wristband be sent through a nationally known carrier like UPS or FedEx.

Too bad he didn't tell Paul sooner.

thedude15
04-06-2011, 10:59 AM
is Coachella popular enough to go to the no exchange policy?

One of the main reasons against it is to assure a sellout. With scalpers in the market a sellout is more likely. Plus impulse buyers are WAY more likely when a no exchange policy is NOT in place. People who are unsure if they are going to go to Coachella sometimes just buy a pass and then if they find they can not go they sell it (either for profit or face or lower than face) at a latter time.

BUT it appears Coachella is getting popular enough to be a sure sellout even if there is a no exchange policy (yes it might take longer than 6 days to sellout). Something tells me this year was no a fluke. Thus the scalpers and impulse buyers are not needed.

My main worry however is can Coachella handle a no exchange policy?
You would either
a.) Need to make everything will call and not give the wristbands to people until they are entering the venue
b.) Incorporate a picture or credit card # into the wristbands. This would add one more thing for the Coachella workers to check BUT it is more practical than option a.

But even with option b I am not sure if Coachella is ready to handle it. They prove they could not handle the demands of shipping so much stuff this year (everyone should have gotten there stuff a min or 2 weeks in advanced but that did not happen).

BeaverCat
04-06-2011, 11:24 AM
Those fake wristbands better not slow my time in entering the site.

I'm hopeful that those who have been duped will take the iniciative to move out of the way. Maybe a "tell your fake wristband story" area aside from the entrance should be set up.

PF said there would be a designated "troubleshooting" area set aside for this scenario.

TomServo
04-06-2011, 11:45 AM
"Carreon had expected to go with a group of 20 fraternity brothers this year but only three of them were able to get wristbands — he wasn't one of the three."

Stupid on so many levels. First off - 20 fratbros? Great. Second - out of 20 bros, only three were able to figure out how to buy passes after a layaway period AND six days of open sales on Ticketmaster? These guys need to get their faces out of the bong and get into class. Why should ANYONE feel sorry for that group?

PrettyRagdoll
04-06-2011, 12:52 PM
So, you're saying Bjork caused the sell out without even being on the line up. That crazy witch and her pendulum! (http://www.coachella.com/forum/showthread.php?t=46386)

this lol :thu

But seriously, the article just did away with all my disgruntled anger over the shipping fiasco and got me right back where I should be a week before Coachella

Unimaginably excited

GuyInTucson
04-06-2011, 01:16 PM
I feel bad to a certain extent for people who are getting ripped off online (not totally, but I do have SOME compassion for them), but these supposed Coachella vets that didn't get their tickets on time get zero sympathy from me. Cry me a fucking river. If it were THAT special to these people they would have saved up all year like I did and bought tickets when they went on sale, or got them through layaway.

PrettyRagdoll
04-06-2011, 02:07 PM
I feel bad to a certain extent for people who are getting ripped off online (not totally, but I do have SOME compassion for them), but these supposed Coachella vets that didn't get their tickets on time get zero sympathy from me. Cry me a fucking river. If it were THAT special to these people they would have saved up all year like I did and bought tickets when they went on sale, or got them through layaway.

Exactly

sonofhal
04-06-2011, 02:09 PM
I guarantee they will next year. Layaway sellout.

Sexecutioner
04-06-2011, 03:53 PM
I feel bad to a certain extent for people who are getting ripped off online (not totally, but I do have SOME compassion for them), but these supposed Coachella vets that didn't get their tickets on time get zero sympathy from me. Cry me a fucking river. If it were THAT special to these people they would have saved up all year like I did and bought tickets when they went on sale, or got them through layaway.

yea, you'd think if you were planning to get married at coachella, you might want to grab your tickets when they first go onsale... :confused:

Boourns
04-06-2011, 04:10 PM
I predict a Glastonbury style ticket sale in a couple years.

concertgoer
04-06-2011, 04:27 PM
God I hope not, but I could see it happening.

Redundant567
04-06-2011, 04:34 PM
As long as Coachella never goes into the lottery system

thedude15
04-06-2011, 04:40 PM
As long as Coachella never goes into the lottery system

we should be a ways away from that.

Think about it this year everyone had a chance during layaway and everyone had SIX days of general onsale. That is a lot of time.

The loto is really not needed unless it sells out fast (ie the first day of layaway it sells out).

But I could see a no exchange policy in the near future.