Splendour In The Grass re-sale terms under investigation
SPLENDOUR In The Grass' tight-fisted hold on its event tickets that prevents them being on-sold privately is under investigation for a potential breach of NSW consumer laws.
The New South Wales' Office of Fair Trading says it will examine the ticketing terms and conditions for the three-day event which starts next Friday at North Byron Parklands.
NSW consumer laws passed in 2017, prohibits organisers cancelling tickets on the basis they were sold privately unless they were sold for more than 110 per cent of the face value of the ticket.
Under Splendour In The Grass' terms and conditions, festival goers to the three day event can only re-sell their tickets through the Splendour In The Grass's official reseller for a flat fee of $30.
The third clause in the terms and conditions states that the "tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable".
The official websites clearly warns buyers they cannot re-sell their own tickets
"TICKETS CANNOT BE OBTAINED THROUGH ANY OTHER MEANS, SUCH AS ONLINE AUCTION SITES, OR BY DIRECT TRANSFER FROM ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL," the warning says.
However, the NSW Office of Fair Trading says organisers cannot prevent, nor cancel, tickets that are on-sold privately providing they were re-sold in accordance with the laws.
"Under section 58J of the Fair Trading Act a ticket cannot be cancelled if it is on sold for no more than was originally paid for it or 110 per cent of the face value price, whichever is the lesser," the spokesperson said.
"Fair Trading will be making inquiries about the conditions included on tickets sold for this event.
"If the event's terms and conditions state you are not allowed to resell your ticket under any circumstances, contact Fair Trading."
Grammy-winning rapper Childish Gambino and Aussie superstars Tame Impala are among the headline acts for this year's event.
Splendour In The Grass event organisers link every ticket with a patrons ID to prevent them being on-sold.
The ticketing system that tied every ticket to an individual patron was introduced in 2006 and was loosely based on the scheme used by the organisers of massively successful Glastonbury festival in the UK.
In 2013, organisers banned ticket transfers and instead brought in a re-sale option.
The reselling of tickets through the official reseller Moshtix has now closed, meaning anyone who cannot attend next weekend's festival has no way of disposing of their ticket - even giving it away.
Those who listed to re-sell their tickets were asked in a recent email by ticket reseller Moshtix whether they had changed their mind and wanted their tickets back.
Without an option to re-sell, it could leave patrons out of pocket for as much as $431 for a three-day pass.
The NSW Fair Trading spokesperson said consumers should contact them if they are dissatisfied in their dealings with an event organiser or promoter.
"Customers who are unable to resolve their issues with the trader are advised to lodge a written complaint with Fair Trading."
A Splendour In the Grass spokeswoman said there were 1700 tickets available on their re-sale site.
She said passes could be transferred at a cost of $30.
"They can pass them onto a friend … same as the resale, $30," the spokeswoman said.
"Those who have their tickets listed in the resale have been contacted with the relevant information."