Taylor Swift added another show in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday, bringing the total Brazil concerts scheduled for The Eras Tour to six. Meanwhile, legislators in the country are scrambling to rein in rampant ticket scalping.
The newly announced show will be on Nov. 17 and open the Brazil leg of the tour, promoter Tickets For Fun announced Thursday. Pre-sales for the concert will start June 26 and open to the general public on June 28. Swift now has three shows scheduled in Rio de Janeiro, followed by three in São Paulo, all in November. The five initially announced dates are all sold out.
Massive demand for Swift’s first-ever concert appearances in Brazil have presented an opportunity for scalpers, both in person and online, who have tried to resell tickets for five to 10 times their face value, according to Brazilian media reports and social media posts. According to the Tickets For Fun website, tickets for The Eras Tour range from 190 reais ($40) to 1,050 reais ($220) face value.
Brazilian fans, including many teenagers, waited in wintry lines overnight and scuffled with scalpers, with some reportedly receiving threats of violence by scalpers. Ultimately, most regular fans were denied tickets, which sold out in 40 minutes; online ticket lines had over 1.5 million people waiting before they opened officially. Consumer protection agents have removed about three dozen scalpers, and police have arrested at least a dozen people, according to Brazilian publication Folha De S. Paulo.
The chaos has led Swift to add three more shows in the country — and to initial action by legislators to try to crack down on scalping.
Congresswoman Simone Marquetto from São Paulo proposed a law this week — being dubbed the “Taylor Swift Law” — that would criminalize the selling of tickets by scalpers to protect consumers. In justifying her proposal, Marquetto refers to the Swift controversy, without mentioning the pop star’s name directly, according to the draft law submitted to congress. She is pushing for an urgent vote from Brazil’s full congress on the bill.
“To purchase tickets, consumers could go to the physical points of sale, or through the organizer’s website, but fans claim that unauthorized resellers purchased a large number of tickets, making it impossible to sell to other consumers,” Marquetto writes in her bill.
A law on the books since 1951 already prohibits “crime against consumers” in Brazil and requires jail time up to two years for offenders, although convictions are usually converted into community service.
The law Marquetto introduced would double jail time to a maximum of four years and make reselling for profit punishable by fines of 100 times the value of the ticket. In the case of Swift concerts in Brazil, fines could reach 600,000 reais ($125,500), according to online publication The Brazilian Report.
Marquetto’s bill also introduces the possibility of penalizing promoters and sponsors that are allowing scalping to occur. Her bill states that promoters, organizers or sponsors of an event could be fined twice as much as the actual “employee” doing the scalping.
“This crime is sometimes carried out with the consent of the promoter and even in conjunction with scalpers,” Marquetto writes in her bill. “Event promoters must take responsibility for the sale of their tickets and act to curb the actions of scalpers.”
Another legislator, Pedro Aihara from Minas Gerais, has proposed a new law targeting online “digital scalping.” And Erika Hilton, another member of congress from São Paulo, has called on the São Paulo attorney general’s office to investigate the ticket sales for Swift’s shows.
Three law enforcement agencies have formed a joint operation with 50 police officers to combat ticket scalping around the Allianz Parque stadium in São Paulo where physical sales of Swift tickets have been taking place. Authorities questioned 25 suspects who were later released, according to a report by Showmetech, a Brazilian technology site.