With a show by Dani Martín on 16 Nov, the Spanish venue – which opened in its current form in 2005 – held its 500th live music event
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Over 1,200 fans were turned away from concerts at the WiZink Center in Madrid in 2019, as the arena notes an “alarming increase in ticket fraud”
By Anna Grace on 28 Jan 2020
More than 1,200 fans were denied entry to Madrid’s 16,000-capacity WiZink Center last year, having purchased false or duplicated tickets from unofficial platforms.
According to a report by the venue, there has been an “alarming increase in ticket fraud” in recent months, as fraudsters “capitalise on high demand and sophisticated technology to deceive fans who want to buy tickets at any price.”
In all cases, tickets had been purchased from secondary ticketing sites or through resale between individuals, either online or via street touts.
As reported in the International Ticketing Yearbook 2019, secondary ticketing has long been a controversial issue in Spain and has been raised at government level. However, according to promoters’ association APM, concrete action is yet to be taken.
In May last year, Anatic, the association for secondary ticketing in Spain, warned against the fraudulent behaviour of many resellers and called for regulation and professionalisation of the sector.
To avoid more fans falling foul of fraudsters, the arena – the biggest in Spain – has launched an awareness campaign, disseminating advice to fans through banners on its website and other digital platforms.
“This is a problem that affects us directly, given that we are the ones who end up denying entry”
“This is a problem that affects us directly,” says Almudena Requena, director of ticketing at the WiZink Center, “given that we are the ones who end up denying entry to people with these kinds of tickets. This places a responsibility on us that we are not accountable for.”
Eugeni Calsamiglia, general director of Ticketmaster Spain, says that although it has always been advisable to buy ticket through official channels, it is now “essential”.
“Current access control systems detect 100% of false or duplicated tickets,” explains Calsamiglia, “so the risk of not being able to enter a concert with a ticket bought on an unofficial channel is high.”
The arena reminds fans that, unlike tickets bought through unauthorised channels, tickets purchased from its online box office or through other official sellers also protect against cancellations and date changes.
Upcoming concerts at the WiZink Center include Halsey, Jonas Brothers, Maluma, Bon Iver and Dua Lipa.
Photo: Luis García/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0) (cropped)
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