Five alleged counterfeiters were arrested this past weekend for selling fake tickets to Saturday's Ozzfest hard-rock concert at the Walnut Creek Amphitheatre in Raleigh, N.C., after having sold the bogus passes for a combined total of $6,000.
The five men, who police said used high-quality equipment to make the counterfeit tickets, were jailed on felony charges of false pretense, an offense akin to fraud, according to Lt. Bob Stevens of the Garner, N.C., police. The charges are punishable by three to five years in prison.
"We had a situation where five men were selling counterfeit $28 tickets for $40 a pop," Stevens said. "One of the ticket-takers at the pavilion saw ... a lawn seat with a ticket number, and they don't sell individual seats in the lawn area."
Three of the suspects were arrested at the venue, he added. Two of them were found hanging around at the convenience store where they allegedly had been selling the fake tickets all day.
The three men arrested at the venue remain in a Raleigh jail, while the two detained at the convenience store are being held in lieu of bail in nearby Garner. The five men allegedly were found with a combined $6,000 from an estimated 150 tickets sold, according to Stevens.
"Ozzfest has been sold out for months here," he explained. "They were good-looking tickets, but there's ways they've set up to prevent counterfeiting, and they failed some of the tests. I will say this -- somebody had some high quality equipment."
The recently concluded sophomore edition of the Ozzfest has again proven itself to be one of the more successful summer tours, along with the female-focused Lilith Fair. Ozzfest has nearly doubled tickets sales this year, a success that recently prompted the festival's namesake, Ozzy Osbourne, to comment. "It's going better than my wildest expectations," metal guru/singer Osbourne, 49, said. "It's been a major, major success. Every year it gets bigger and bigger. I keep waiting for the bubble to burst."
This year's Ozzfest lineup has presented a wide spectrum of "heavy" rock music, ranging from the leaden dirge of Tool and the Melvins to the speed-metal of Megadeth and the veteran band Motörhead and the hard-edged rock of newcomers such as Limp Bizkit, Soulfly and Sevendust. And, of course, there's the classic heavy metal of Osbourne himself.