A fraudster from Bulgaria claiming to represent European promoter ArtBG is reportedly on the run after allegedly stealing ticketing income of around €1m for several concerts without paying the artists or venues.
Pollstar reports that the bogus promoter has forced the cancellation of several shows after posing as a local organiser.
The accused is currently on the run with what insiders have told Pollstar is estimated to be just short of €1m in ticket pre-sale revenue.
The issue came to light after Latvian ticketing agency Bilesu Serviss explained to ticket buyers on its website that the Enrique Iglesias ‘All the Hits Live’ concert which scheduled for December 5 in Arena Riga has been cancelled.
According to Pollstar, the company said Creative Artists Agency (CAA), which represents global star Iglesias, sent a statement to all ticketing vendors selling passes for shows in Zagreb in Croatia, Riga in Latvia and Minsk in Belarus.
The statement reads: “Sadly and regrettably, after much careful consideration, and exhausting all possible alternatives, we have been forced to cancel the upcoming shows in Zagreb, Riga, and Minsk.
“ArtBG, the concert tour promoter, producer, and event organiser, have not complied nor fulfilled their contractual obligations with the venues and all production elements for these three events. All of this makes it impossible to put on the show that our fans deserve. Safety for our fans and crew is paramount and we cannot guarantee this for everyone without the promoter fulfilling their obligations. It is simply too big of a risk.
“Our fans are sacred to us and it is painful to have to do this. We hope to find new dates in the near future. Together, with vendors and venues, we are devoted to make the responsible party, ArtBG, held responsible for their actions. Sincerely, EI Team.”
Pollstar also found that ArtBG defrauded fans for other shows including Greece by Bryan Adams, José Carreras and Maluma. It also reported that the biggest ticketing agency in Greece, Viva Tickets, was working with actual local promoters to still realise the shows.
Bilesu Serviss stated that it has approached the local Police in Riga, stating: “Until a reply is received from the State Police regarding the further process, no refund will be made for the tickets purchased.”
ArtBG’s website says it has offices in London, Bulgaria and Austria and operates in Central, Northern and Southeastern Europe. It claims to have worked with stars such as Iglesias, Ricky Martin and Scorpions.