UPDATE: Falls Festival organisers have issued a statement on ticketing and scalping, which has been included below.
Falls Festival doesn’t usually have much trouble shifting tickets, with lineups boasting some of the biggest international visitors we’ll see all year, but having tickets to the Lorne and Byron legs sell out in under an hour this morning is a new record for the festival – and a problem for fans, as the tickets begin to show up on resale facilities for thousands of dollars above their original asking price.
Tickets went on sale at 9am this morning, but the Falls has already announced that the two most popular legs in NSW and Victoria were all sold-out by 10am, which was apparently “in record time”.
“For those who missed the boat it’s time to jump on one… Or a plane!” Falls Festival organisers said in a statement. “Marion Bay Tasmania is only a short distance across the Bass Strait and is a sun-soaked summer holiday in the making,” they continued, adding that “the second ever rendition of Falls Downtown in WA has a new and even more exciting home in Fremantle!”
With many fans taken by surprise by the quick sales or finding they were unable to even access the site, some are speculating whether ticket scalpers have more to do with the new sales record, as resale facilities and ticket bots continue to take advantage of the systems in place to quickly snatch up tickets and sell them on at inflated prices.
Even now, tickets are showing up for over $5,000 on some sites, against a standard price of just over $350, and disappointed punters are expressing their frustration.
However, it’s important to note that in past years Falls Festival has had its flagship Lorne leg sell out in 30 minutes flat, while the Byron leg has seen stronger and stronger sales of its own since its introduction in 2013, so the combined Byron/Lorne record may have more to do with the growing popularity of the Byron venue rather than a concerted effort from crooks.
In a year that saw Falls Festival’s Lorne leg hit with some serious turmoil and subsequent legal trouble, the Byron Bay leg shone through as a brilliant event, and it’s not surprising to see people flocking to the beachside location this year, especially with Fleet Foxes, Liam Gallagher, Flume, Run the Jewels, The Kooks, Glass Animals, Angus & Julia Stone and yes, resurgent ‘Horses’ legend Daryl Braithwaite on the bill.
Festival organisers have spoken on the huge demand in a statement, addressing the possibility of putting measures in place to help combat opportunism going forward, noting that the festival already employs ticket limits and delays the issuing of tickets to hinder reselling, and has its ‘Friends of Falls’ loyalty system in place to secure tickets for returning attendees.
“Falls Lorne and Byron sold out in record time this year. There is no official resale facility for The Falls Festival, with increasing demand we are investigating the viability of introducing one. Till then, we strongly discourage patrons purchasing from any unauthorized third party sellers at inflated prices, we can’t guarantee legitimacy of tickets purchased outside the Falls official platform.
“No tickets for Falls are issued until December 1st, we will be scanning all tickets on arrival and you will not be granted entrance if the barcode has already been scanned. If you’re buying from a trusted friend for the face value price of the ticket that is fine.
“Supply and demand drives this market, and it’s legal. The law permits them to do so. We wish people wouldn’t resell tickets for profit, but at the moment, there isn’t any legal recourse to prevent this.”
Unfortunately, this is all true, and until reselling tickets has some sort of legal repercussion, it’s something we’ll continue to see more and more – although the recent motion to make scalping bots illegal passing through the Australian Senate is a positive first step.
If you did miss out on tickets and don’t mind the idea of hopping on a plane (or boat, sure), the Marion Bay leg is actually a pretty great fall-back option, providing a slightly more relaxed version of the big camping festival in beautiful surrounds – here’s our dummies guide to doing Marion Falls to give you an idea of what you can expect.
Falls Festival’s Byron bay leg has proved to be even more popular this year.