Legalities of Selling Event Tickets - Advise Needed


(Jason McGuire) #1

I know of an event that almost cancelled if it wasn’t for the case of the big wallet. They had around 20% of the expected attendance this year and so much went wrong many of us festival organisers were surprised that they have announced the event is on again next year.

I honestly think the event will cancel last minute next year and my question is, is it legal for festivals to sell tickets directly via a Paypal button? There seems to be no payment protection once the initial 45 days are done so if an event is selling tickets at £100 a go and a year in advance then bailed within the last month and goes into administration, the ticket purchasers have no way of getting refunds.

I know many ticket companies including Eventbrite hold money in an escrow until 3-7 days after the event has taken place to protect the buyer but I cannot find details of Paypal doing this but surely they must? I have 30+ friends that I know are going to buy tickets for this event and I just don’t want to see them getting ripped off. It also puts another bad mark on the music festival scene which has been taking a hit the past few years due to pop up festivals going bust and not refunding people.

Any advice or links to check out the legalities would be appreciated. I have been on the Paypal community and cannot find anything.


(Belinda Booker) #2

I found this:

13.11 Event tickets

In certain cases, if you purchase a ticket or pay for the right to attend an event from a Payment Recipient who is a UK registered PayPal Account holder (“Event”), all monies paid by you may be held by PayPal on trust for you, so that the beneficial interest in such monies remains with you until the performance of the Event in question.


(Jason McGuire) #3

Ah thank you Belinda. So they should be in that protection bracket. I remember our first ever event, we did it all direct via Paypal and didn’t inform them and got the money like we were selling t-shirts so I assume Paypal need to know you are selling tickets in order to protect.


(Melissa Saunders) #4

Still sounds to me like we need more regulation around festivals. Don’t want that to be a barrier to new entrepreneurs but consumers, artists and vendors need to know that they’re protected and legitimate organisers could do without the uncertainty tainting the festival scene. Is anything currently being done?


(Jason McGuire) #5

Not looking like there is any proper safety around it. Hair Metal Heaven in Hull last weekend. The VIP tickets were not cheap and they were supposed to be treated to a special acoustic appearance from a band but because the organiser seemed to be running around like a headless chicken, he didn’t have the full cash to pay the artist so they refused to play. Its embarrassing to the scene. Everyone says oh poor organiser, he worked so hard bringing the artists in but hang on, he didn’t pay them and yet people paid extra for a service they didn’t receive. Its getting worse all the time.

Just have a read of this http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/whats-on/gig-organiser-forced-borrow-50k-406367?service=responsive

Then a few weeks ago the complete cock up in Liverpool at Hope & Glory festival http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/live-hope-glory-festival-latest-13438301

My festival budget is probably less than one band gets at festivals like these but at least we have not had the same problems because we are not over-stretching. There needs to be more control to stop every Facebook promoter starting a ‘festival’ that then damages the scene more when things such as those two happen.

My team work damn hard all year round for our event. We have meetings at least once a month. We fill in all paperwork, we have proper insurance in place. We have back up contingency plans in place for absolutely every eventuality and we are just a team of 4 people running it. So it angers me that these people with their big ideas but no cash and no experience can just rock up and say they are going to put on a festival!

Sorry, rant over hahaha!!!


(Melissa Saunders) #6

Sounds horrific! So is this a matter for the government, the AEO or someone else to sort out?


(Belinda Booker) #7

Yes I think so, but I wonder how the customer knows whether they are protected or not? It seems that it is quite possible to sell tickets and pocket the money directly (and not have it held on trust by PayPal).


(Jason McGuire) #8

That’s my point @Belinda_Booker


(Belinda Booker) #9

Yes, I think you’re right. You’d better tell your friends, buyer beware!