After years away from the limelight, one of Latin America’s most beloved crooners, Luis Miguel, will take the stage in the coming months, touring venues across the region and the U.S. Millions — including yours truly — swooned at the idea of seeing him perform live.

Luis Miguel’s comeback also provided a rare opportunity to see a massive world-class star conduct an international tour without Ticketmaster, the world’s biggest ticketing company and a virtual events monopoly in many countries. The singer has instead booked venues, each serviced by a different ticketing company.

Sadly, rather than showing Ticketmaster how it’s done, the experiment has shown that the tech provided by most ticket sellers is simply not up to the task.

Beyond most likely increasing their own cut of the proceeds, artists performing in Latin America have as much reason as Swifties in the U.S. to want to show Ticketmaster the door. Concertgoers across the region have often protested the company’s handling of massive concerts — it has particularly struggled to deal with scalpers and fraudsters.

A particularly bad example is from late last year, when reggaeton superstar Bad Bunny performed to a partially empty stadium in Mexico City, while thousands of ticket holders crowded outside, unable to get in. An official investigation concluded that the problem had been the enormous amount of “cloned” tickets — convincing copies of real tickets with working barcodes. People with a genuine ticket would have been unable to enter the venue if they turned up after its cloned version had already been scanned. 

There’s no denying that fraud in Mexico is a particularly hard issue to solve, but it also seems like this should be a priority for a company chiefly concerned with providing ticketing services for live events.

Now, months after Ticketmaster reimbursed 2,155 customers for a total amount of 18 million pesos (around 1 million dollars) to avoid a hefty fine, Luis Miguel’s ticket vendors seem to be facing the same pitfalls. 

When tickets for the “Luis Miguel Tour 2023” went on sale, fans were stuck in a digital queue for hours, on websites that reportedly failed at multiple points. Meanwhile, scalpers flooded the ticketing system, and offered tickets at seven times the original price on reselling sites. These scalper sites had clearly put in the work to optimize their SEO — they appeared above the singer’s own official website when you searched for “luis miguel tour.”

Many fans — desperate for tickets and confused by the multitude of ticketing sites (both official and unofficial) selling Luis Miguel entries, have already fallen for the sham services selling fraudulent — rather than simply scalped — tickets at a premium. 

Much of the chaos is simply down to a limited supply of tickets for an eager audience demanding access to a Latin American musical idol. But it will likely not assuage the ire of fans against ticketing services that seem increasingly unable to solve a massive problem, even as they promise to provide — according to one Luis Miguel-affiliated service — “the easiest and safest way to buy” tickets.