I've seen this too many times, people buying fake or stolen tickets from strangers, then are devastated to find out at the door that they cannot get in. Do NOT let this happen to you! I saw dozens of people get turned away from gates at EDC NYC, Governors Ball, and BUKU.
Stating the obvious here but the safest thing to do is to buy from the official festival. No worries there. BUT... no discounts and last minute buying either. It's logical to look for deals, and that's where Craigslist, Facebook, Stubhub, etc comes in. This is also where the scams are. If you do buy from an online source, make sure you can verify it's legit before paying up. Do the following:
- Use your own network, ask friends of friends / family.
- GOLDEN TIP: The next best thing is to buy from another festival goer!! This will allow you to meet, then walk in TOGETHER, and then you pay. Avoid scams and also meet a new festival buddy.
- Some fests have online sites to register or verify the wristband or ticket, DEFINITELY DO THIS.
- Meet in person and collect contact info - Name, Phone, Email, even take a pic of their license, facebook profile, etc. All these provide evidence if needed.
- Use the good ol' "must walk me into festival" method. The seller meets in person and walks you up to the scanner. See golden tip above.
- Pay with credit card(not cash) as there's a chance it can be reversed if you're scammed.
- Request receipt of original purchase, which is likely an email receipt. Make sure name match.
- Ask for "hard tickets" instead of electronic email tickets, if possible.
- Have a friend wait outside with seller with your cash, then pay seller after your inside.
- Buy tickets from established sellers like StubHub, Ticketmaster. Legitimate ticket selling companies offer some type of buyer protection.
These methods may sound extreme, but it's to prevent scams that can absolutely ruin your festival experience or prevent you from attending all together. Use your intuition :) If a price is too good to be true...it usually is.