Festival Cracks Down On Online Ticket Sellers


    By Diane Aikele

    Depending on where and how buyers purchased them, tickets to the Sundance Film Festival may not be valid at the screening. Many Sundance hopefuls this year had a hard time getting tickets, but may have supposedly lucked out after shopping online at eBay or craigslist.com for film tickets.

    Here”s the catch: the tickets purchased from these second-hand suppliers will most likely not be accepted for entrance to the show.

    The main way to purchase tickets this year was to pre-register online, but since the Jan. 4 deadline already passed, filmgoers are now resorting to other ticket purchasing options. Many ticket sellers on eBay or craigslist pre-registered and bought their tickets for $15, only to turn around and sell them online. Tickets to premiere showings are currently going for as much as $150.

    Sundance Institute advises filmgoers to ignore these offers completely.

    Currently, Sundance officials say they are searching for online sellers and regulating the re-selling of tickets, according to Brian Ries, Sundance Institute publicity spokesman. He warned that tickets resold online can be remotely deactivated before the film”s showing.

    “We are cracking down the eBay sellers,” said Ries. “On the back of the ticket it states that the buyer can”t resell. It”s something that we are working on.”

    Although many filmgoers are willing to risk it, getting into the festival with a ticket bought on eBay is doubtful.

    “Sundance reserves the right to prohibit any future sales during this festival … to any ticket buyer who is identified as an online auction ticket reseller,” said Patrick Hubley, Sundance Institute Festival spokesman.

    Many eBay or craigslist ticket sellers and buyers are aware of this policy, but chose to ignore it.

    “I”ve done it for sports tickets in the past, so I am not too worried about it,” said Brent Barthel, 21, a UVSC student currently looking for festival tickets online. “The tickets that I have bought in the past on craigslist have been good.”

    If you want to be on the safe side, valid tickets are still available for purchase online at www.sundance.org/locals. Or, if you are willing to wait in line for a ticket, you can still see the show at your preferred time.

    “The best option for BYU students would be to wait in line about an hour before the show starts,” said Kate McNeil, Sundance Film Festival volunteer. “The Sundance resort is so close for BYU students. You can go the night of the show an hour before the movie and wait in a line, but each person can only get one ticket. They usually let in about 30 people.”

    While some are aware of this option, they still feel more comfortable buying tickets online from craigslist.

    “I would rather have a ticket before I go out there,” Barthel said. “I”m going to try driving out there and waiting in line if I can”t get anything set in stone.”

    The Sundance Film Festival began Thursday and runs through Jan. 28. The festival will have showings this year at Sundance, Ogden, Salt Lake City and Park City. To get more info, call (435) 658-3456 or visit the official Web site at sundance.org/locals.

    The Sundance Film Festival started Thursday Jan. 18 and continues through Jan. 28. For more info, call (435) 658-3456 or visit www.sundance.org/locals.

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