It’s been a difficult day for many people because of the news about Daft Punk. Some people out there lost more than 500 RMB, one of whom was Julien. He was one of the five unlucky guys working for Andy, the organizer of the so called secret Daft Punk gig.
Julien was looking for a job last week, and at EnjoyClassifieds he found the ad Andy published. They met and Andy introduced himself as a Swiss person, though Julien explained he sounded more French than Swiss. Andy explained the details of the event and said he was working for a company called Beijing Red Wall Events, whose existence is yet to be confirmed.
Andy explained that this was a done deal with Daft Punk and that Julien should trust him. Early last weekend Andy introduced Thomas Ramirez to Julien. Mr. Ramirez (the man in the photo), supposedly from France, was a representative of a famous French event producer company called We love Art. He looked respectable enough that Julien took him to Bar Rouge and introduced him to the managers there, and they all bought the Mr. Ramirez character. Time passed and Julien was still not totally convinced everything was legit, but everybody was accepting “Thomas Ramirez” and he did not know what to believe.
Julien and the other promoters were spreading the word and the two thousand tickets were sold. Julien told us he saw Thomas Ramirez and Andy take the money of the sales. Now we can judge Julien and said he made a big mistake working for these people, as did the other promoters, but what chance did they really have to know this was a hoax?
Julien said he had a bad feeling he could not let go, so on Monday he decided to call France to confirm that it all was real. He called We love Art and then knew he was right and that he was in trouble. The people from We love Art denied the existence of any Thomas Ramirez at the company, not in France or in any other country. Julien called Andy to confront him and Andy insisted it was not a lie, that it was a real concert and it was going to happen. Julien made a call to Los Angeles, to Paul Hahn, friend and collaborator of Daft Punk. Julien asked Paul if the duo had plans to play in Shanghai this weekend, and, as we all know now, Mr. Hahn denied it. After that call the article about the hoax in Shanghai came out in Pitchfork.
On Monday night Julien got a phone call from Andy, who was talking long time trying to convince Julien this was not a lie even if there seemed to be proof it was. Andy finally asked Julien to meet him Tuesday morning at eleven. Scared, Julien said he was not going to go, but Andy insisted. Just before eleven, he got the last call from Andy, insisting on the meeting. Julien finally decided to go, but of course, Andy was not there.
Julien cannot confirm if Andy is involved in the scam. He gave us Andy’s phone number and we have been calling, but the phone is turned off. Julien contacted the landlord of the Taicang rd. office rented to sell the tickets and explained everything. It turned out that they had security cameras in the office and had a video with images of Andy and Thomas Ramirez. The owners of the office took the video to the police to declare the situation, but they can’t do anything until someone who bought a ticket makes a police report. Andy and Thomas Ramirez are no longer reachable by phone, and chances are they are no longer in China.
Julien, like most of the people working with Andy and Thomas Ramirez, were not payed. They were supposed to receive the money this Friday. The official website has been down since at least a few hours ago.
This afternoon a group was opened on Facebook to share information about the scam. Netizens have learned that Andy introduced himself as Andy Da Silva, and that Thomas Ramirez said he was from Portugal when renting the office. Surprisingly, the company providing the office, Oasis, didn’t asked them for their passports to close the rent deal.