Austin City Limits Music Festival is coming around again in Austin, Texas.  The top-flight headliners draw in the fans, and the big money draws in the scammers.  The wristbands are still available through ACL Fest’s website, which is bad news for counterfeiters.  Here are a few tips to help you avoid being one of the unlucky folks who find themselves turned away at the gate because their wristband won’t scan:

  1. Buy your wrist band from a trusted source, like the website for the festival (www.aclfestival.com/tickets/).   It sounds silly, but the surest way to get the genuine article is to go to the source.  It may cost you more than a scalper, but your guaranteed to walk right through the gate.  This brings me to the next tip:
  2. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.  Don’t be fooled into thinking the guy on the street or on craigslist is giving you a good deal.  If the cost is too low, there is probably a reason.  Check the original prices on the passes and make sure the price being charged is somewhere in the neighborhood of the original.  No one is looking to save you money and make less than they possibly can on the resale of their wristband;
  3. Always check the fine print on the back of the wristband or pass.  Every wristband or pass will likely have a written section detailing what happens in the case of a rain-out or specific instruction on where to find your seat or section.  If there isn’t this type of boiler-plate language on your pass or wristband, walk away.

These are just a few of the common sense ways that could help you spot a fake.  If all else fails, and you are one of the unlucky ones to purchase a fake ticket, be sure to file a police report.  Finally, be sure to get a written receipt of some kind for the purchase.  Make sure the written receipt has the name of the person who sold it to you and their address information.  If possible, copy down that information yourself from the seller’s Texas driver’s license.  This will help scare away fakers because they will likely not want to give you their real personal information, and it will help you or the police track down the seller should the pass or wristband turn out to be a fake.

J. Brandon Barnes