DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Fans of Jimmy Buffett who bought their tickets from a third-party vendor will be unable to attend next month's shows in Delray Beach.
The tickets were hard to purchase with only about 200 tickets available for each of the four events scheduled in May.
Representatives from Old School Square, the site of the upcoming concerts, are warning people against buying third-party tickets because they are not transferable.
Eventbrite is the only authorized seller for the Jimmy Buffett concerts in Delray Beach.
This has forced several broker sites to remove their tickets to the show because of the venue rules, which include the purchaser showing identification the night of the event.
Many music fans said they didn't even have the opportunity to buy the tickets since they were snapped up by scalpers within minutes.
Some scalpers are now trying to sell them for thousands of dollars.
Josh Baron, ticketing expert and co-author of "Ticket Masters: The Rise of the Concert Industry and How the Public Got Scalped," said he was not surprised how quickly the concerts sold out given the limited inventory of tickets.
"Whether or not there was going to be brokers involved or not, there was going to be a lot of disappointed fans," Baron said. “I think the difference here is that there is a balance between disappointed fans and angered fans."
Baron said third-party brokers sometimes work in partnership with sports teams and venues that actually benefit the public. However, restrictions of ticket brokers are really regulated and enforced on a state-by-state level.
Since there was such a limited amount of tickets for the Buffett concerts, Baron said a lottery system might have been a better way to decide who got to attend the events.
"You would have had disappointed fans no matter what, but I don't think you would have had as many angered fans as you do now,” Baron said. "To Old School Square's credit, it seems like they've been doing a pretty good job of communicating with the public in trying to mitigate some of those secondary sales. … [and] get those fans a refund."
He says music fans who bought tickets from a broker might have some sort of recourse if they bought their tickets with Vivid.
Baron called Vivid a "more reputable secondary ticketing site" like StubHub or SeatGeek.
"If the tickets really can't be transferred, the company will understand that and honor their buyer confidence types of guarantees that they often have," Baron said. "Hopefully they have some mechanisms in place, and they typically do."
He said it is always important for fans to look at the fine print before purchasing a ticket from a broker or third party for any event.
"I think it's important for the buyer to beware when buying from these parties or secondary sites and looking at the rules and restrictions that are put in ahead of time," Baron said.
Coming out of the pandemic, he believes we will see better rules and conditions that will give more flexibility to consumers for refunds.
Unfortunately due to the current reduced seating capacity at many events, snagging a seat will continue to be competitive.
"Whether or not there was going to be brokers involved or not, there was going to be a lot of disappointed fans [for the Buffett concerts]," Baron said.