Share your horror stories.
A friend of mine once turned up early to a gig and tried selling a ticket outside of Brixton to another fan. A tout stepped in offering more money for it but my friend said they were not interested in the offer. My friend sold the ticket for face value to another fan. The tout then started pushing my friend, throwing them into a phone box and when they stood up, another tout joined in and then tried to pushing again, and my friend nearly ended up in front of moving traffic...
I arrived ten mins or so after the event to find my friend, a 20 year old girl who had arm muscles the size of toilet rolls, was bleeding from her forehead, and was so shaken that she refused to tell the police because the same touts are outside nearly every gig and just wanted to goto the gig.
I've told this story to a few people and no-one bats an eye-lid, as if it's a fairly normal occurrence for these 'people' to do such a thing. Anyway, it would seem these same individuals that people try to avoid by using fan-to-fan websites have - unsurprisingly - infiltrated that world too. Channel4's Dispatches has a special show about it tonight...
‘The Great Ticket Scandal: Dispatches'
TX: Thursday 23rd February 2012 at 9pm
We went undercover to viagogo which is a leading entertainment website in the UK and exposed the following:
· The majority of tickets offered for sale through viagogo are not from individual fans but from large scale professional ticket resellers or tickets allocated by promoters to viagogo.
· viagogo staff compete directly with real fans to buy tickets from primary ticket sellers, like Ticketmaster, for in demand events as soon as they go on sale. To get around systems put in place to prevent bulk buying of tickets, viagogo staff use multiple credit cards registered to different addresses.
· viagogo has a special team dealing with large scale professional ticket resellers – known as “power sellers”, or “brokers” who account for a significant percentage of overall ticket sales on their exchange.
· Large-scale ticket reselling has spread beyond the traditional rock and pop gigs. Dispatches found tickets offered for resale way above face value on ‘fan to fan’ exchanges for England’s 6 Nations rugby games; Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor live tours; West End shows; National Gallery’s Leonardo da Vinci exhibition; and even The Last Night of the Proms.
· Secondary websites like viagogo have obligations to be honest to the public under consumer legislation and a leading expert says that some Viagogo practices contravene legislation.
Dispatches has also seen a document that shows that viagogo has been allocated nearly 50,000 tickets, for 50 well known acts, music events, sporting occasions mostly for 2012 including:
· 9,000 tickets for Coldplay’s upcoming Stadium tour – promoted by SJM Concerts, and Metropolis Music.
· Over 3,000 for Westlife’s 2012 tour – promoted by Live Nation
· 2,200 tickets for Rihanna’s UK tour - promoted Live Nation
· 800 tickets for the live show of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing - promoted by Phil McIntyre Entertainment and Stage Entertainment UK
· 800 tickets for the live tour of the X Factor - promoted by 3A Entertainment
There is no indication that any of the artists involved were aware of these allocations.
Phil Mcintyre Entertainments and Stage Entertainment UK confirmed that they had given an allocation for the Strictly Come Dancing tour to viagogo. They said that viagogo ''came well recommended by other promoters in the industry and were selected in good faith.''
Here is the full release here - http://www.channel4.com/info/press/news/channel-4-dispatches-defeats-injunction-attempt-by-viagogo
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