It appears that the viral marketing scheme used by the concert promoters to get the word out and get people buying tickets is working in the other direction now, as people search for the identities and whereabouts of the two guys behind the fraud.
A group of erstwhile concert goers have started this group here, called (quite deliciously) "Daft Fucked" and are busy collecting information and trying to work up the ladder of people who were unwittingly employed in the scam.
Another pertinent link is the Facebook event listing here, in which one of the ticketing/ PR agents has written out his back story of how he came to be involved with the "concert organizers." (Refer to the above link to read the message originally written in French.)
In this message, he confirms that the concert is a fraud and points the finger at a French guy called Thomas Ramirez and a Swiss guy called Andy Da Silva.
He goes on to explain that the two worked for a company called "Red Wall Events" based in Beijing. The author and a few other ticket agents were hired through EnjoyClassifieds to do PR for events targeted to French people living in Shanghai. They were hired to sell tickets and do Facebook PR for the "hidden" Daft Punk concert. He initially had his doubts, but knowing Daft Punk as an act prone to do this sort of thing and his familiarity with the "hidden concert" concept in Paris, he went along with it. The promoters also assured him of their connection with Daft Punk's people and a promotion agency in Paris called "We Love Art" that does this sort of thing.
Sunday night, many tickets were sold and his doubts resurfaced, but he was assured that on Tuesday he would be shown the venue where the concert would take place. Monday he tried to call the concert organizers to ask about the terms of refunding, but was unable to talk to them because they were busy at the location dealing with the logistics of setting it up.
On Monday afternoon, acting on his suspicions, he finally got in touch with Daft Punk's record label EMI, and was redirected to an associate of Thomas Bangalter in Los Angles [Bangalter is a member of Daft Punk]. The associate confirmed the post author's fears that the concert was indeed a hoax and the electronic duo Daft Punk had no knowledge of it. The author tracked down the promoters on Monday night, accusing them of perpetrating a fraud. They were apparently out at a restaurant celebrating the Lantern Festival. The organizers again argued that it wasn't a scam and said that they would prove the legitimacy of the thing by showing the venue the next day. The author accused them of setting up a hoax, they got into a fight and the call ended. On Tuesday morning he got a text message to go to the office for a meeting at 11am.
He showed up, no one was there, and the money was gone. He then went to the building managers (the organizers had been renting the ticketing office from the Oasis property management company), the lease was in the names of the fraudulent organizers, although the building management didn't have passport photocopies of the two names on the lease.
Then he tried to track them down at their hotel, but couldn't find them in the registry as presumable they were using fake names.
He finishes his account by apologizing to people and stating that he got scammed like everyone else and is co-operating to try to track down the two individuals behind the hoax.
Update: In lieu of producing the passport pictures of the two names on the rental lease, the Oasis property management company has just released surveillance photographs of the concert organizers on to the web.
This is really exciting.
Update II: And the Daft Punk scammers now have a Facebook fanpage as well. Click here.
Update III: And for the nail in the coffin, here's an email forwarded to us by Charles Belin of Kiken Prod, originally sent to him from Daft Punk's agent, Peter Elliott:
"Thank you to every one who gave us the heads up re: the bogus daft punk show in Shanghai.
I can categorically state that daft punk are not coming to China in February. The advertised "secret" or "hidden" daft punk show is a hoax perpetrated by fraudsters.
Daft punk are not touring during 2009.
Please spread the word, and if any one has any info as to who the people behind the above mentioned scam are, let us know.
(agent to daft punk)"
Update IV: Just checking in this morning with my new favorite show, "Daft Punkgate," and it seems major French media has picked up the story. Here is a link to an article published in Liberation, one of the top three national papers in France. Various other French media sources have stuff on it as well.
In the English-speaking world, here's the Shanghai Daily article, although the story hasn't cropped up in any major English-language western media (it's on a few indie music blogs though).
Still, it sure was nice of Pitchfork to take a break from reporting on the new Art Brut album cover and the tour plans of the Silver Jews to help out all us imbeciles living in Shanghai.
Nothing concrete on finding the two guys either, or even if any authorities are looking for them. Perhaps they're gearing up for a follow up Daft Punk secret concert in.... say, Barbados.