Bad Bunny’s show at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City on Friday was plagued with ticketing and entrance issues after an “unprecedented” amount of people with “fake tickets” attempted to enter the venue. Rolling Stone has learned that one of the factors that may have contributed to the rampant fraudulent ticket issues on Friday is that Ticketmaster Mexico is still on the paper ticket system, which makes it easier to duplicate and sell fake tickets.
Those with legitimate tickets were apparently shut out in the chaos after entrances were closed to address “security,” according to the venue.
“The inconveniences at the entrances were a consequence of the high unprecedented number of fake tickets which caused crowding of people more than typical,” Ticketmaster Mexico wrote in a statement, in a translated post. “The crowding caused confusion and complicated the entrance to the stadium, which led to people with legitimate tickets, not being allowed entry.” Ticketmaster apologized and said those with legitimate tickets will receive refunds. The company said it is working with authorities to prevent “false ticket sales” in the future.
Estadio Azteca released a statement of its own, which translated said that “Ticketmaster detected cases of duplication and/or falsification of tickets for this night’s concert, a situation that is completely unrelated to the Estadio Azteca.” The venue added that it closed entrances for security purposes and that it enlisted private security help, and pointed to Ticketmaster to address ticketing issues.
A rep for Ticketmaster’s parent company Live Nation referred to Ticketmaster Mexico’s statement in response to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment. A rep for Bad Bunny did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.
In recent years, Ticketmaster has switched to mostly digital ticketing in the U.S., which includes an “encrypted bar code that automatically refreshes every few seconds,” per a statement from the company. It cannot be screenshot or photocopied, thereby making it much more difficult to produce a “fake ticket.” Ticketmaster Mexico still works on the paper ticketing system, which is easier to manipulate and falsify. Ticketmaster Mexico, which began as a franchise, was acquired in late 2021.
“Already selling over 20 million tickets annually, the move will enable the Mexican business to gain access to Ticketmaster’s full suite of industry-leading technology, products and services,” the company said in a statement shortly after its acquisition.
CNN Español reported that “hundreds of people” were prevented from entering the show on Friday, both those with legitimate tickets as well as fans who inadvertently bought fake ones.
Scores of fans took to social media to complain. The show — with a capacity of 85,000 according to Westwood Entertainment company that operated the event, via CNN Español — was purported to be sold out, but the venue per fans’ accounts appeared to be nowhere near filled to capacity as the entrances were shut down amid the confusion.
Bad Bunny also performed Saturday night at Estadio Azteca, a gig that closed out Bad Bunny’s current World’s Hottest Tour run and apparently went more smoothly for those in attendance.