Problems caused by scalpers during the sale of tickets to Taylor Swift’s South America tour could trigger similar regulations to those proposed in U.S. Congress.
Fans trying to score tickets to Taylor Swift’s upcoming Eras Tour stop in São Paulo have been going through the wringer. After spending days waiting in line, many fans were left empty-handed as tickets sold out within 40 minutes (with more than 2 million people waiting in line before tickets became available). But wait, it gets worse.
Huge demand for tickets to see Taylor Swift is to be expected, but multiple fans reported receiving threats of violence from scalpers who attempted to cut ahead in the line. Consumer protection agents removed about 30 scalpers from the premises on Monday, and at least ten were arrested.
Ticket scalping is already a crime in Brazil, with those caught in the act facing up to two years in prison — although convictions are frequently converted into community service. But the recent fiasco prompted a Brazilian congresswoman to present a bill to increase penalties for scalping.
The new proposal, led by centrist Congresswoman Simone Marquetto, increases the maximum sentence for scalping to four years and sets fines of up to 100 times the price scalpers were asking for tickets. For Taylor Swift tickets, fines could reach $125,500 (BRL 600,000).
“The exploitation of the Brazilian population by so-called ‘scalpers’ at any paid events expected to see a big public influx is public and notorious. These ticket touts’ activity deprives the less fortunate, preventing them from attending the desired show, and constitutes a true crime against the public economy,” says Marquetto.
“There are many examples showing that the concerns expressed above are justified. The most recent is the case of the sale of concert tickets of an international singer,” Marquetto continues without mentioning Swift by name. “Fans claim that dealers purchased a large number of tickets, making it impossible for other consumers (to buy tickets).”