The Limburger. August 3, 2022, by Roland Colée
Translation: John de Jong.
Rieu sounds the alarm about invalid concert tickets
on buyers' sites.
The official sale for the concerts of André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra on the Vrijthof in
2023 will not start until the second week in September. Even though there are now "official" tickets
offered for sale. "What these sites are doing is criminal and should be prohibited by law".
It has been going on for years, but during the recent Vrijthof concerts the problem was apparently larger
than in previous years: spectators had to be refused access to the square with invalid tickets. "In total it
was about hundreds of tickets for these fifteen concerts" says Pierre Rieu, son and manager of the
Maastricht Orchestra leader. "Since the concerts had to be postponed twice due to corona, we could not do
anything else to the people who were prevented from attending on the replacement dates, to return their
money this year. These buy-up sites made good use of this by placing these tickets again for sale. That
meant that at some evenings a place was not sold once, but sometimes two or three times, and that we did
not have one, but two or three victims at the gates.."
Now the company of the Maastricht Orchestra leader is trying to make it as difficult as possible for the
scalpers, by controlling IP addresses and credit card numbers, and a sale of a maximum of six tickets to a
person, but still creates a problem in separating all those "bought-up" tickets, What these crooks do is: sell
three to four thousand tickets at a higher price, before they have obtained a single one. If it is then not
possible to gather so many tickets, they just don't give anything at all. In order to work with the victims, the
orchestra leader offers them a form that states that they have been refused access, and that they can then
use this form to report and get their money back. "But this of course creates a lot of sorrow, stress and
Rieu Junior points toward a safety initiative as "Guts" which works on a continuous changing QR code to
prevent the resale of tickets. "But with visitors from nearly one hundred different countries, is it impractical
to inform everyone to first download an app in order to prevent fraud. In addition, many fans receive tickets
as gifts from family or friends. So, that does not work either. The only thing we can do is to continue to
emphasize that you have to purchase tickets through our "official" channels. In this case through our own
website, www.andrerieu.com. If you find the word "advertisement" above your search engine address,
that's an indication to start ringing the alarm bells."
Prohibited by law.
In order to really tackle this problem, Rieu hopes that these websites will be prohibited by law, which is the
case in Australia. There this problem is a lot less. A tip for those who want to attend a Vrijthof concert next
year: the pre-sale has not yet started. that will take place the second week in September. "And when you
find "sold-out" by the date, do not go to another site and spend lots of money. Because the chance that you
will not be allowed in, is very great.