By Sam Green, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The organizers of Rock in Rio have warned that they will not accept responsibility for the validity of tickets bought on the black market after the event sold out in four days. Demand for tickets from unofficial outlets surged after all 600,000 official tickets, priced at R$190, were bought at a speed which caught even the organizers by surprise.
Brazilian media reported last week that tickets were being sold on the internet for up to R$900, a mark-up of nearly 500 percent, and there are also fears of counterfeit tickets being produced.
Rock in Rio released a statement saying: “The organization of the event is not responsible for tickets bought outside of the official sales points. It is emphasized that the search for tickets for Rock in Rio surprised the organization, which did not expect a demand so big and immediate.”
Demand for tickets intensified as the event is returning to Rio after ten years on the road. Following festivals in Rio in 1985, 1991 and 2001, it held four events in Lisbon and two in Madrid between 2004 and 2010.
This year’s event will take place across two weekends, September 23rd – 25th and September 30th – October 2nd. The headline acts will be Elton John, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Shakira, Coldplay and Guns N’ Roses. Other acts include Jay-Z, Slipknot, Lenny Kravitz, System of a Down and Rihanna.
The tickets went on sale on May 7th and 90,000 were sold online in the first ten hours. All 600,000 had gone by May 10th. In less than forty hours, 75 percent of the tickets available and all of those placed for sale online had gone.
The remaining were sold in kiosks installed around the city. Hundreds of fans were left disappointed after going to the Engenhao Stadium in the belief that tickets remained on sale there, only to find there were none available.
The organizers stressed that measures were taken to ensure that the ticket-selling process was fair and that tickets are secure. To stop tickets touts from cashing in, each customer could buy only four tickets per day and the tickets were printed on special paper which features a hologram.
Those with half-price student or under-21 tickets will have to prove their status to gain entry to the event at The Olympic Park City of Rock in Barra da Tijuca.
Roberta Medina, vice president of the festival, pointed out that disappointed fans would not have to wait another ten years for the next chance to attend the event. “Fortunately, now we have a different reality in the country, with a strong city that allows us to transform Rock in Rio into a biannual event,” she said. “Fans can expect that in 2013 there will be another edition of the festival here.”
Rock in Rio will also be held in Barra da Tijuca in 2015, while continuing to host events in Lisbon and Madrid. The organization is also planning to expand in Latin America, with Argentina, Mexico or Colombia in line for an event.