festivals | Counterfeiters in the spotlight

The season of major cultural events not only attracts crowds, but also counterfeiters on the Internet. Recent victims: the Festival international de jazz de Montréal (FIJM) and the Festival d’été de Québec, whose programs and identities are replicated by numerous deceptive Facebook pages.

Posted at 7:00 am

Charles Eric Blais Poulin

Charles Eric Blais Poulin
The press

CRi, The Roots, Woodkid… Almost all major concerts of Montreal jazz event have been duplicated to make fake online events. The pretext works: thousands of festival-goers, including fellow journalists and FIJM staff, have indicated their presence or interest on these sites, which have nothing to do with the official organization.

The fake online concert phenomenon that flourished amid the pandemic is making a comeback. Which is a headache for festival communications teams.

Jazz alone is the subject of more than a hundred misleading pages. Malicious Internet users usually post links there that lead to stream assets where a credit card number may be required.

Among other things, at least seven dubious events were created for the – very real – passage of the hip-hop collective The Roots. Most take advantage of July 9 at 9:30pm when the Philadelphia headliners perform on the main stage at Place des Festivals.

The creators of these parallel events always appear under more or less credible false identities: “The Roots Festival International de Jazz de Montréal”, “Stromae-Multitude Tour Center Bell” or even “Mad Boy”.

“We report several of these fake events and fake Facebook accounts every day, but the fake events use multiple names and create new pages,” explains Christine Montreuil, Media Relations Manager at evenko, promoter of FIJM. It is a task for our teams to start fresh every day. »

Viral Imitations

Malicious sites for The Roots concert alone drew the attention of over 10,000 netizens; they have publicly confirmed their presence there or expressed their interest. That’s more than the 7,300 Facebook users who appeared on the legitimate event page created by the FIJM on the social network.


The malicious pages for The Roots concert alone drew the attention of more than 10,000 internet users.

“It’s important to mention that people should always verify the official source, the organizer of the event, before they click,” says evenko’s branding and social media team.

Fake accounts often use our logos, branding, and other information. Beware of imitations!

The evenko branding and social media team

Some concerts are reinvented from scratch. For example, an acquaintance of the author of these lines was surprised by the presence of Jack Johnson in jazz next Thursday. No babysitter needed, because the viral event created by the website “Jazz Festival” is not taking place in Montreal, but as part of the Festival d’été de Québec on the Plains of Abraham. At the time of writing these lines, however, around 4,000 people had moved their mouse cursor to “present” or “interested”.

Facebook’s algorithm commits, every interaction on a fraudulent site risks contaminating their contacts at an exponential crescendo.

No transfer from FIJM

“Most of the time, fake events indicate that they are online events,” notes evenko. This year, the Montreal International Jazz Festival will not broadcast the concerts live. »

This is without considering the activities of counterfeiters on official accounts. “Several fake webcast links are circulating in the comments of our publications,” regrets the organizer. These comments are generated by fake Facebook accounts. Please report and block. »

Different dates and locations, fictitious concerts, duplication of legitimate pages: in addition to the risk of bank fraud, misleading events confuse festival-goers. Audiences should always consult the official program and, for paid concerts, use legitimate ticket outlets – Ticketmaster, Place des Arts, etc. – emphasizes evenko.

Facebook had not responded to our requests for information at the time of writing this article.

What to do with counterfeiters according to evenko

  • Report the event;
  • Confirm the event creator page. By reporting a fraudulent site, you can delete all fake events it has created;
  • Block all fraudulent accounts and events to prevent them from spreading through your contacts’ algorithm.

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