The fix was in.
According to anonymous sources because those are the ones that have the juiciest information, it appears major national ticket sales and distribution companies were attempting to capitalize on 2021’s volatile Carnival season and to “short” Mardi Gras tickets in efforts to corner the market and inflate prices for the annual mega celebration.
Early last year, executives from the companies allegedly promised New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell to pay off her back-taxes if she agreed to cancel Mardi Gras in 2021 so ticket demand dropped to zero. Once prices flatlined, the companies were set to buy the entire stock of Mardi Gras tickets for pennies on the dollar, and then the Mayor would “uncancel” Mardi Gras, but to take place during more favorable springtime weather, and resell the tickets for a huge profit.
Before the scheme could be fully implemented, savvy members of the organization Professional Retail Operators and Bar Owners of New Orleans, realized something wasn’t right when a neighbor who loafs at City Hall told them she overheard the plan take shape when the mayor and several other officials were on a conference call with the distributors trying to use city money to buy and burn all of the tickets to every upcoming Lauren Daigle concert.
Armed with a Reddit account and tons of downtime thanks to restrictions from the pandemic, members of PROBONO used their remaining life savings to purchase every single Mardi Gras ticket and outsmart the smart guys. Now, instead of the usual processing fees, ticket sellers will have to pay PROBONO members both processing and convenience fees that are 3,000% higher than the pennies they were planning on spending.
The City and the ticketing companies, shocked someone is doing to them what they do to us, have asked the Legislature to intervene because they’re special or something.
“Take stock of what’s happening here,” said one of the anonymous sources. “They’ve been doing it for a long time without consequence but now people are tossing back the junk they’re throwing.”