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Coachella Suing Scalper Over Alleged Artist, VIP Wristbands

by Ryan Middleton   Apr 14, 2016 16:39 PM EDT

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Nobody likes scalpers. Whether they are hounding you outside of a show for "extra tickets" or buying up all of the tickets for a high-in-demand show and reselling those tickets online at a much higher price, everyone can agree scalpers suck. Now Coachella is taking an aggressive stand against a Los Angeles based marketing firm Particle LLC, which it alleges is selling scalped artist, VIP and guest wristbands.

Festivals have gone to lengths to try and prevent scalpers from making money on festival passes with personalized. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, may be the farthest Coachella has gone to prevent a scalper from making money on the festival.

The suit accuses Particle LLC and its owner, Denise Kozlowski, of buying wristbands and selling them, though they are nontransferable. This is done all of the time online, though, Coachella is singling out Particle LLC in this lawsuit.

The lawsuit is based on an email sent out by Kozlowski where advertises short-term rentals in La Quinta for both weekends according to the Desert Sun.

"I also have VIP, Guest and Artist passes for sale. Please inquire for more details," reads the email, which is included in the suit.

Tickets for Coachella sell out in minutes and many are resold openly on websites like Craigslist, Ebay or Stubhub. They are supposed to be non-transferable, but most enter without a problem. They claim that this time the damage is "irreparable" from the scalping."

Coachella in the suit argues that "unwitting members of public" could be denied entry - or thrown out, if they are caught with the scalped wristbands.

"Money damages cannot fully repair the damage that will be done to (Coachella's) reputation and goodwill if it must turn away would-be festival attendees because they have unwittingly purchased void passes from defendants," states the lawsuit.

They are also alleging that their trademark was used without permission when it was included in the advertisement for short-term rentals in La Quinta.

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