Promoters of the Australian festival Splendour in the Grass are threatening legal action to deter scalpers on the Internet.


MELBOURNE, Australia -- Promoters of the Australian festival Splendour in the Grass are threatening legal action to deter scalpers on the Internet.

Lawyers for promoters Village Sounds and Secret Service have issued cease-and-desist letters to people re-selling tickets for the July 23-24 event in Byron Bay, New South Wales.

In total, the demand has been sent to 150 people. The tickets, with a face value of A$125 ($96), were being re-sold on eBay for up to A$3,000 ($2,300), organizers say. One re-seller is understood to have offered 29 tickets.

State-owned youth radio network Triple J has encouraged listeners to sabotage the bidding process; false online bids have been listed from between A$10,000 ($7,680) to A$1 million ($768,000).

The bill for the festival at Belongil Fields includes Queens of the Stone Age, Moby, Ryan Adams, Finn Brothers and local acts. The entire allocation of 14,000 tickets sold out in 26 hours, organizers say.

Promoters warned that a condition of sale meant that tickets were non-transferable, and those holding re-sold tickets would be refused entry.

Organizers are considering adopting an initiative next year in which ticket holders must show photographic ID for admittance. Britain's Glastonbury Festival has taken such steps for this year's event.

Cyber-scalping has affected recent Australian events such as Big Day Out, Kylie Minogue's "Showgirl" tour, and a tsunami-fund raiser Wave Aid.

Ebay's director of trust and safety, Alastair MacGibbon, said that the company was investigating the claims. He added it was wrong to vilify anyone selling their tickets "without knowing their circumstances."

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