Song fest organizers sue ticket seller over surcharge

The Latvian National Center for Culture on October 4 started legal action against the Biļešu paradīze ticket service which applied a surcharge for selling tickets to the Latvian Song and Dance Festival this summer, the center's spokeswoman Linda Ertmane told LETA.

The center thinks that the surcharge was in breach of the agreement, estimating that the service received €76,512 in extra fees from people buying tickets to festival events.

The center has turned to a court asking to repay the money.

"The recovered funds will be returned to festival visitors who bought tickets at the Biļešu paradīze online store after receiving requests. While the money for which no requests will be received will be invested into organizing the next festival," the Latvian National Center for Culture said. 

Tickets for this year's Song and Dance Festival, held in July, went on sale March 3. The demand was about ten times the offer.

Ticket touting started immediately, and there were immediate complaints about the long queues both online and in ticket offices. 

There was also a falling-out between the organizers of the festival and the ticket agency over a surcharge the agency was applying to online purchases, dubbed an "internet store usage fee" and applied on top of the face value of the ticket, and now it has come to court. 

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