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Viagogo criticised for selling hiked up tickets for Ed Sheeran charity show

By | Published on Monday 20 February 2017

Ed Sheeran

Much of the rage against secondary ticketing in the last year has been aimed at eBay’s StubHub and Live Nation’s ticket tout tickling technologies, so nice to see that other big name in price hike facilitation, Viagogo, back in the news.

The ticket resale site has been accused of “moral repugnance” for allowing tickets to appear on its platform for Ed Sheeran’s upcoming show at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust, with £75 tickets going for £1750 on the site.

The charity has already put in place a number of measures in a bid to ensure anyone with touted tickets will not get access to their popular season of shows at the Royal Albert Hall. It says on its website: “We are also doing our part by introducing additional measures like limiting the number of tickets people can buy, and requiring photo ID to enter the concert. ID will be rigorously checked and anyone with tickets purchased on the secondary market will not be admitted”.

However, a statement on Viagogo’s website tells buyers that they have a way of circumventing this measure, in that “buyers of tickets for this event will be accompanied into the venue by the seller”.

Commenting on this attempt to circumvent the Teenage Cancer Trust’s anti-touting measures, the FanFair Alliance – which campaigns for more regulation of secondary ticketing, of course – told reporters: “Teenage Cancer Trust have gone to huge lengths and expense to prevent resale and profiteering of their tickets. To all intents and purposes they are non-transferrable, with buyers needing to provide photo ID on the door”.

It added: “Not only are Viagogo encouraging touts to sell these tickets at vastly inflated prices, none of which goes back to the charity, they attempt to circumvent the terms and conditions by advertising that the buyer will be accompanied into the venue by the seller. Leaving aside the moral repugnance of profiteering at the expense of teenage cancer sufferers, this appears a flagrant breach of consumer law and yet another reason why government intervention is so desperately needed”.

Meanwhile, the whole escapade has forced the Teenage Cancer Trust itself to have state the fucking obvious, ie that “the only people who should profit from Teenage Cancer Trust at the Royal Albert Hall are young people with cancer”.

It’s not the first time secondary sites have been called out for allowing tickets for charity events to appear on their platforms, with the touts often seeing much bigger pay outs than the charities themselves when a superstar act agrees to do a show at a much smaller venue than they would normally play because it benefits a good cause. Some resale set-ups have occasionally sought to remove such tickets from their platforms, but not the cunts at Viagogo, who are still listing plenty of overpriced tickets for the Sheeran charity show.

The resale site is also the subject of new rage in Spain after the promoter and management for Spanish singer songwriter Joaquín Sabina revealed that the touting platform started selling tickets for an upcoming show in the city of A Coruña, even though technical problems meant that the sale of tickets for the gig on the primary sites had been postponed.

That Viagogo seemingly still started advertising tickets for sale from the original on-sale date suggests speculative selling, where touts take money for tickets they are yet to actually purchase, another dodgy touting tactic much frowned upon my the anti-tout lobby within the music community, not to mention consumer rights campaigners.