How to Avoid High Concert Ticket Prices and Scammers in Colorado
Written by Dom Vigil
If you attend concerts in Colorado regularly, then you’re probably familiar with the ticket scalpers that normally hang out outside of sold-out shows, asking for extra tickets or trying to get a few off of their hands. For years, this has been the norm when it comes to attending concerts or any large events, but the ticket reseller market has become a little bit more complex in 2018. With websites like StubHub, the Flash Seats Marketplace and even official resellers for websites like AXS, it has become easier than ever for anyone to snag tickets to a high demand sold-out show... if you’re willing to pay the price. Unfortunately, high demand concerts and rising reseller prices have also created the perfect opportunity for scammers to try to cheat you out of money by selling fake tickets at low prices on websites like Craigslist or even Facebook.
In fact, if you take a look at just about any Facebook event page, especially for a show that is sold-out or close to selling out, the first thing you’ll notice is an influx of people trying to sell their extra tickets at slightly over face value. It might seem like a good deal at first, but the majority of these people are scammers looking for a quick way to make some money off of die-hard fans.
So how do you make sure that you’re buying the right tickets to a show at market price, and how do you stay away from these scammers?
First and foremost, be aware of where and who you’re buying your tickets from.
Most of the time when you google a venue in Colorado, their official website will be among the top search results and it can be fairly easy to ensure that you’re buying tickets from a trusted source, but other times, it can be a little more tricky. For instance, The Fillmore Auditorium in Denver does not have an official website. When you search for the venue on Google, the first website that pops up (fillmoreauditorium.org) looks legit, but is actually selling most tickets at over double the cost of face value. On livenation.com, the trusted website for The Fillmore, general admission tickets for Bring Me The Horizon’s upcoming show are listed at $45.00. On fillmoreauditorium.org, you are redirected to ticketmonster.com, where the starting price is $85.00 for the same show.
Do your research before buying.
Although a Facebook event page may seem like a good place to sell your extra tickets or look or a cheap pair the night of a sold-out show, scammers have certainly been on the rise on these pages. If you take a look at the Facebook event page for any upcoming sold-out or high-demand show, many of the recent posts will seem like innocent would-be concert goers selling an extra ticket or two at face value or just above it, but many of them are obvious scammers. It might be a little hard to tell the scammers apart from real people at first, but if you dig a little deeper, they all have very similar tell-tale signs. Ticket scammers in Facebook groups will almost always be selling multiple tickets, stating they they and their family or friends are no longer able to make it. (As of recently, it seems like many of these people have been selling their “tickets” for about $35 each and almost always have at least 3 or 4 available.) If you do a little bit of investigating, you’ll find that most of these scammers are from out of state and have very minimal information listed on their Facebook page. They might even have a few posts, but most of the time, they are all from one day in an attempt to make the page look active. When we reached out to a few obvious ticket scammers in the Facebook event pages for the upcoming Dua Lipa concert at The Fillmore Auditorium and With Confidence at The Marquis Theater, there was a very common pattern*. Nearly every scammer will either ask for payment in the form of gift cards, Venmo or PayPal and will insist on delivering the tickets (even physical ones) via email or mail. The bottom line is, if you have to ask yourself if someone is scamming you, it’s not worth it.
*You can see a transcript of the conversation between the scammer and a member of our staff, as well as a few examples of what the posts in Facebook event pages generally look like below. Many of these Facebook profiles have since been reported and deactivated after these screenshots were taken. Click through to see all images.
So where should you buy your concert tickets?
The most trustworthy places to purchase tickets are directly through the artist or venue’s website. Nearly any artist that you’re looking to see live will have ticket links listed on their official website, but if you’re unable to find that, then purchasing directly from a venue’s box office (you might be able to avoid some service fees this way) or website is your best bet. For Colorado concerts, we’ve compiled a large list of venues and official ticket links to make that process a little bit easier. (See below for the full list!)
Many Colorado venues have made the ticket purchasing process much more streamlined as well, even if the show is sold-out. Websites for the Pepsi Center, Ogden Theatre and Red Rocks Amphitheatre, just to name a few, have conveniently listed trusted official reseller links on the same page that you can purchase face-value tickets at - just be sure that you’re not buying these higher-priced tickets for shows that aren’t sold out yet! When choosing seats for venues like the Pepsi Center, Red Rocks or Fiddler’s Green, the ticketing portal will also automatically include reseller tickets in the seating chart. If you’re not looking to purchase tickets above face value, be sure this isn’t checked when you’re buying your tickets.
If a concert is sold-out and you need to buy reseller tickets, be sure to buy from trusted websites like StubHub, Flash Seats or AXS. Thankfully, many venues do list reseller options on their website, making the vetting process a little bit easier.
Last but certainly not least, if you absolutely must buy tickets from a third party or someone that you don’t know, do your research. As previously mentioned, Facebook scammers are usually fairly easy to spot after a little bit of digging. If you find yourself talking to one of these scammers, they will generally ask for payment in the form of PayPal, Venmo or gift cards - any method that is hard to track and even harder to dispute once you release you’ve been ripped off. If you’re buying from someone online, your best bet is to ask for proof of the tickets first and foremost - something like an email with their name and the tickets on it - or only buy physical tickets in person at a safe location. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Concert-goers in Denver and the surrounding areas are privileged to be part of one of the biggest and most diverse music scenes in the country, but because of this, it is easier than ever before for scammers and high-price resellers to take advantage of music fans, especially for high-demand shows. With a massive amount of venues in Colorado, it might be hard to keep track of where you can purchase tickets at a fair price, which is why we’ve included an extensive list of venue websites and ticket portals below.
DENVER & SURROUNDING AREAS:
Lost Lake Lounge
1st Bank Center
Streets Of London
Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox
Syntax Physic Opera
Soiled Dove Underground
Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom and Cervantes Other Side
Your Mom’s House
3 Kings Tavern
The Fox Theatre
Hodi’s Half Note
Broadmoor World Arena
Triple Nickel Tavern
Belly Up Aspen
*if there are any venues that you would like to be added to this list or you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org*