Entertainment Music

Wednesday 13 November 2019

€2,000 for six U2 tickets in 'the gods' at Croke Park

U2 are playing Croke Park this Saturday Photo: John Wright
U2 are playing Croke Park this Saturday Photo: John Wright

Wayne O Connor

A die-hard U2 fan, who paid more than €2,000 for seats at the band's Croke Park gig this Saturday, has been told her tickets are now unavailable.

Aisling O'Kennedy, from Sutton, Co Dublin ended up paying eight times above face value for seats at the top tier of the stadium after ticket resale website Viagogo told her they could not provide the better lower-tier tickets she had ordered and paid for in January. Aisling said she bought the tickets for friends travelling from Portugal. She purchased the tickets on Viagogo within minutes of the Joshua Tree tour selling out in January. The website offers people with spare or unwanted tickets opportunities to sell them on to other fans.

However, it has faced criticism over prices. Ms O'Kennedy bought six lower-tier tickets for €220 each. Additional booking fees, taxes and charges brought the cost to €340.

"It is expensive and we could have used the money for a weekend away, but we just thought we could make a proper weekend of this," she said.

Last week Ms O'Kennedy received an email from Viagogo informing her that the tickets she had ordered were no longer available. She was then prompted to pick alternative tickets on the website.

"When I did click on there, it said: 'no alternative tickets available'," she added.

"On Thursday, when I clicked on the link again there were finally some tickets available but I had booked nice lower-tier tickets. The alternative tickets are at the very back and at the highest level. These are not the seats I paid for." The original cost price of these tickets is €43. At €340 each, Ms O'Kennedy has now paid almost eight times face value for the seats and €1,778 more than they would have cost if she had managed to source them before the concert sold out. Viagogo did not respond to requests from the Sunday Independent for comment but has offered Ms O'Kennedy €200 off her next purchase on the website. However, she said she would not use the voucher because of her experience.

Meanwhile, Fine Gael TD Noel Rock is working on a bill to control ticket re-selling. "Websites like this often do attract people who are chancing their arm in terms of trying to sell a ticket they don't have. Seatwave and Viagogo offer what they call a ticket guarantee, where they guarantee that they will get you a ticket for an event. Sure enough, while they might get you a ticket, it often isn't the ticket you thought you were getting. That illustrates the problems in this sector and the grey areas companies operate in," he said.

Ticketmaster introduced tough new measures to try and prevent tickets for Ed Sheeran's 2018 Irish tour being resold online. However, tickets were being exchanged on online reselling sites yesterday for more than €1,500 each.

Sunday Independent

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