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Ed Sheeran’s strong stance against ticket scalpers has global impact

Ed Sheeran’s strong stance against ticket scalpers has global impact
May 30, 2018

Ed Sheeran, one of the world's biggest pop stars, has taken hard stance against ticket scalpers and the secondary market, announcing that he will not honour tickets resold via Viagogo tickets at his concerts.

Last week, at the gates to his concert at Etihad Stadium in the English city of Manchester, Sheeran demanded that fans purchase new face-value tickets if they had acquired their tickets through controversial secondary ticketing site Viagogo.

Fans had been warned that any tickets purchased through the site would be “unauthorised” and entry would not be granted.

Several fans showed up with the invalid tickets and were asked to pay the £80 (AUS$140) for a face-value ticket, while being advised to claim a refund from Viagogo.

Sheeran told the BBC that his “strong” approach would “be very positive for fans in the long run”.

He advised “the only people it is going to harm in the end is the touts (scalpers).

“I hate the idea of people paying more than face value for tickets when you can get them at face value.

“People just need to start taking a stance and within two or three years companies like Viagogo are going to be kaput.

“I think (Viagogo) are the ones who are pushing out all this stuff that seems really negative, but it will be very positive for fans in the long run.”

The normally media-shy Viagogo told the UK Press Association in a statement "it is legal to resell concert tickets in the UK.

"The tickets sold on Viagogo's platform are genuine tickets that have been sold on by the original ticket purchaser in good faith.

"Attempts by event organisers to cancel tickets on the basis that they have been resold are highly unfair, in our view illegal, and only punish consumers."

On the FAQ section of its website, Viagogo says that all tickets sold on its platform are "genuine tickets that have been sold on by the original ticket purchaser in good faith".

They say that they believe it is "unenforceable and illegal" when event organisers deny entry to people who have purchased resold tickets.

"Therefore, as with all tickets on our platform, Viagogo customers should feel confident that they will gain entry to the event, and that is why we back every ticket with the Viagogo guarantee.”

Asked about fans having to pay as much as an extra £150 (AUS$260) on the night in order to enter his concert, Sheeran added “what they didn’t print is that they can actually get a refund later.

“It’s all being done properly, I’m not stitching people up.”

“The fans are not OK with secondary tickets. Sometimes you can spend all that money and it is a fake ticket.”

Frontier Touring head Michael Gudinski, who promoted Sheeran’s Australasian tour earlier this year, has backed the pop star’s stance.

Gudinski told Melbourne newspaper the Herald Sun,  Ed Sheeran that Viagogo is “a scourge on our industry”, commenting “aside from being a market place for fraudulent tickets, their whole purchase process is a sham, they lie, they mislead and take advantage of fans.

“We have sympathy for real fans who have been ripped off, but we are not going to encourage Viagogo and the scalpers who use it by then letting those fans into the show for free.”

 “If a person turns up who purchased on Viagogo and their ticket is fake or been sold multiple times - which happens a lot - we don’t honour it. If we have tickets to sell the fan can buy again. If a ticket is successfully sold on Viagogo often we have no idea.”

The Victorian Government recently announced new legislation that will create a new taskforce to stop the illegal resale of tickets at inflated prices.

In addition, the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) have launched an investigation into Viagogo’s Australian practices.

Gudinski believes the ACCC investigation is a good start, adding “the ACCC are investigating them because what they do breaks the law. But we have seen in other countries that even when authorities charge them or order them to make changes or cease trading they hide away in foreign jurisdictions and nothing changes.”

Images: Ed Sheeran at Sydney's ANZ Stadium earlier this year (top) and Michael Gudinski (below).

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5th October 2017 - CHOICE NAMES VIAGOGO AMONG AUSTRALIA’S SHONKIEST PRODUCTS OF 2017 

1st September 2017 - GOOGLE URGED TO BLOCK ONLINE RESELLERS WHO DUPE TICKET BUYERS

28th August 2017 - ACCC COMMENCES LEGAL ACTION AGAINST TICKET RESELLER VIAGOGO 

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27th November 2014 - MICHAEL GUDINSKI NAMED THE MOST POWERFUL PERSON IN AUSTRALIAN MUSIC


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We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

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