On Wednesday afternoon, website TheVIPConcierge offered tickets to numerous Oscar-related parties, but a few hours later, all those offers had disappeared: Though surprised, the party-givers wasted no time in demanding that the tickets be removed.
The site offered tickets to genuine fund-raisers, including the Elton John viewing party this Sunday (which featured the highest asking price, $6,450 per person). But also offered was admission to private parties this weekend, such as those given by Weinstein Co., ICM, UTA, WME and Vanity Fair.
One party-giver groaned to Variety, “It’s clearly absurd. Most of these parties are private events, not fundraisers; this is obviously an illegitimate offering. They might as well sell tickets to a Donald Trump diversity rally.”
Another said if the site found any buyers, they will be disappointed because they won’t gain admission; all top industry parties check ID’s and control their RSVP list (i.e., no paper tickets). In addition, security is always extremely tight. None of the party-givers wanted to go on the record, because they didn’t want to dignify the website with a response, or to draw further attention to their event. No one could recall this happening before.
In years past, tickets to the Oscar ceremony itself were occasionally offered online, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences immediately traced the sources, refused admission to the ticket-buyers and expelled the member responsible for selling them.
The VIP website stated, “Just because you weren’t invited to the 88th annual Academy Awards show doesn’t mean you can’t go to the prestigious after-parties or glamorous viewing blowouts. All it takes is a ticket and VIP Concierge has them in spades.” (The website scrupulously includes the registered-trademark bug whenever it refers to Oscar or the Academy Awards.)
The site says, “If we can’t get you tickets to an event, nobody can.” It also offers tickets to movie premieres (e.g., “London Has Fallen” in L.A., “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” in New York), TV events (the “American Idol” finale) and kudos events (“Kids’ Choice Awards”).
The website did not respond to Variety‘s requests for comment.