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STATE: BBB Tip: Van Gogh events – One artist, multiple shows, lots of ticket confusion

Several exhibits featuring post-impressionist artist Vincent Van Gogh are scheduled to tour select cities in North America, but they are offering different experiences. The soundalike names of the events are causing confusion, and some fans are frustrated that they bought tickets to one event but then realized it was not the one they wanted.

The exhibit called “Immersive Van Gogh” is scheduled for various locations, including Charlotte. Tickets for this event are being sold through VanGoghCLT.com, Ticketmaster and Universe.com.

A similarly-titled event, “Van Gogh – The Immersive Experience,” will be in various locations. Tickets for this show are being sold through Fever, which has had complaints filed by consumers with the Better Business Bureau; as of March 10, they are in the process of responding to previously unanswered complaints.

NOTE: After this tip was first published, BBB became aware of two additional Van Gogh exhibitions touring North America: “Imagine Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” (exhibitions in Edmonton, Vancouver and Boston) and “Van Gogh Alive” (currently showing in St. Petersburg, Florida).

Consumers are urged to read everything carefully, so they are clear as to the tickets they are buying.

Before purchasing any tickets, BBB recommends the following:

● Buy only from trusted vendors. Look for the lock symbol in the web address to indicate a secure purchasing system. Do not click through from emails or online ads. Check the vendor with BBB.org to see what information may be available about the seller.

● Read the ad and website carefully. Make sure to read the event description carefully and ensure that it is the one you want. Also be sure the event advertised matches the tickets being purchased. Verify the website selling the tickets also matches the event advertised and is an authorized seller for the event you want. Be wary and do more research if you spot confusing marketing claims.

● Watch for red flags. For any ticketed event, always check the terms and conditions as well as other posted policies. If refund and cancellation policies or other terms and conditions are not posted on an event producer’s website, that is a red flag. Lack of contact information for the
event producer is also cause for concern.

● Use payment methods that come with protection. Always use a credit card so there is some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Debit cards, wire transfer, or cash transactions are risky; if the tickets are not the ones you intended to buy, you will not be able to get your money back.

● If you are unsure, verify your tickets. Go to the arena, museum, or art gallery where the event will be held. Present your ticket to “Will Call” (customer service) and they can verify if your ticket is for the correct event.
For more tips on event purchasing, go to BBB.org/tickets.