Sofar Sounds Sued Over Hidden Fees: The $2 Discord

sofar sounds hidden booking fees class action lawsuit

Class Action Lawsuit Says The Music Event Organizer Doesn’t Disclose Extra Charges,Violating Consumer Protection Laws.

In the world of live music, where the thrill of discovery meets the intimacy of small venues, Sofar Sounds has made a name for itself. But now, it’s hitting a different kind of note—a legal one. The company is facing a class action lawsuit for allegedly slipping a $2 booking fee into ticket purchases without clear upfront disclosure, in violation of New York's consumer protection laws.

The hidden fee

Plaintiff Stephanie Corrales from Brooklyn, NY is calling out how Sofar Sounds handles ticket sales on its website. Customers, like Corrales, excited to catch live performances, are led through a selection process, choosing the event and venue with the ticket price in clear view. Yet, it’s only at the final checkout stage that an extra $2 booking fee pops up, like an unwelcome encore. 

“This cheap trick has enabled [Sofar Sounds] to swindle substantial sums of money from its customers,” the case states.

This lawsuit claims such a practice strikes a sour chord with New York’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Law, which insists that full pricing, including any extra fees, should be upfront and center before a ticket lands in the cart.

The law and the fine print

In August 2022, New York passed the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law which provides that “every operator … of a place of entertainment … shall disclose the total cost of the ticket, inclusive of all ancillary fees that must be paid in order to purchase the ticket.” 

“Such disclosure of the total cost and fees shall be displayed in the ticket listing prior to ticket being selected for purchase.” And “[t]he price of the ticket shall not increase during the purchase process.” 

However, the complaint tunes into a different melody played by Sofar Sounds, alleging the company conducts a backstage pass of sorts, sneaking in fees that only make an appearance as the buyer is about to pay.

“For over a year, Sofar Sounds has been nickel and diming visitors of its live music performances on its website in violation of the New York Arts and Cultural Affairs Law,” the lawsuit alleges.

With Corrales conducting the charge, the proposed hidden booking fees class action lawsuit isn't just a solo act—it's seeking to bring together a nationwide class of Sofar Sounds customers who purchased concert tickets since August 29, 2022. If the allegations hit home, Sofar Sounds could be facing a chorus of demands, including statutory damages that could crescendo to significant amounts, considering that it sold at least 100,000 tickets to its live music performances through its website since this time.

This isn’t the first time Sofar Sounds has faced legal trouble. In 2020, the music events company settled with the New York Department of Labor for $460,000 after an investigation revealed that 654 “ambassadors” were never paid for work performed at events between 2016 and 2019.

The plaintiff is represented by Philip L. Fraietta and Stefan Bogdanovich of Bursor & Fisher PA.

The Sofar Sounds hidden fees class action lawsuit is Corrales et al v. Sofar Sounds LLC, Case No. 1:24-cv-02320, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.