Organizers of the popular Puff of Colour (POC) J’ouvert fete are calling for some kind of legislation that would see scalpers of tickets to Crop Over events being firmly dealt with under the law.
Failing that, Kirk Phillips, one of the members of the Chelsea Boyz organizing team, called on Government entities like the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) to help to curtail the problem.
“It is very difficult to stop scalping. From what we understand, there is no law against it. You can go out and buy a ticket and turn around and sell it at whatever price you want,” he told Bajan Vibes.
“However, the person doing it, they are taking a chance because you can also attract BRA to come to you, the VAT office can come and say ‘well listen you are selling these tickets at x, we need to get our piece’.”
Phillips went on: “I think that is one of the things that needs to happen. BRA needs to target these scalpers and try to deal with them because there is no law. We the promoters would like a law put in place for scalpers but we can only do so much like what we did,” he said, drawing reference to the one ticket per person policy the group implemented for POC.
Phillips noted that though there were some hiccups, POC was a relatively successful venture.
“I think promoters have to, I don’t want to say, do like us [but] at the end of the day, every promoter has to do what’s best for themselves. We made a decision to sell tickets to persons at one per person in the early stages. The reason for that was to ensure that everyone got a ticket at a fair price.
“Some people said we made it too difficult but at the end of the day, we wanted to make sure that John Public gets a ticket at the price that we the committee members of Chelsea boys set that price at. So, if we set the price at $60, we do not feel comfortable or happy to know that people out there are selling our tickets at a $110, $120, $130 and in the extreme, $300.”
“You are depriving some person of a ticket that would really like to go to Puff of Colour,” the organizing committee member told Bajan Vibes.