Friday 16 November 2018

Ed Sheeran bans secondary ticket sales to tackle touts

Sheeran insisted his 'strong' approach would 'be very positive for fans in the long run'. Photo: PA
Sheeran insisted his 'strong' approach would 'be very positive for fans in the long run'. Photo: PA

Lucy Mapstone in London

Ed Sheeran has insisted the only people who will lose out in his war against secondary ticket-selling sites are touts - not his fans.

Those attending Sheeran's concerts this week in Manchester have been asked to buy new face-value tickets on arrival if theirs were purchased through secondary site Viagogo, as those would be deemed invalid.

Viagogo offers users the opportunity to resell tickets for more than their face value.

Sheeran's tour promoters Kilimanjaro Live, DHP Family and AEG Presents warned fans in July last year that those who had bought "unauthorised" Viagogo tickets would not be allowed entry to the concerts.

However, a number of fans turned up at the gigs at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester last week and were told to pay for tickets up front at the face value of £80 (€ 90), while being advised to contact Viagogo to claim a refund for their resold tickets. Many claimed it was unfair and could not afford the additional fee while waiting several days for a refund.

Sheeran insisted his "strong" approach would "be very positive for fans in the long run".

He said: "The only people it is going to harm in the end is the touts. I hate the idea of people paying more than face value 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," he added.

"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."

Asked about fans having to pay as much as an extra £150 on the night in order to enter his concert, Sheeran said: "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."

He said: "Loads of acts are doing it: Arctic Monkeys, Adele, no one is OK with it. The fans are not OK with secondary tickets.

"Sometimes you can spend all that money and it is a fake ticket."

Viagogo said in a statement: "It is legal to resell concert tickets in the UK."

Irish Independent

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