Tuesday 21 November 2017

U2 tickets snapped up in under six minutes as second date is ruled out

U2 at Croke Park in 2008 Photo: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Sasha Brady and Wayne O'Connor

Fans who were hoping to find what they're looking for with U2's Joshua Tree anniversary tour were left disappointed when tickets were snapped up in just under six minutes.

Tickets for the July 22 Croke Park gig went on sale from 9am this morning but sold out in under six minutes.

It was rumoured that a second date would be added to the Irish tour but a spokesperson told Independent.ie that there is "only one date".

With a capacity of almost 78,000, Croke Park is among the largest stadiums on the European leg of the The Joshua Tree Tour 2017.

One Irish fan was quoted nearly €1k for two tickets to U2's Croke Park gig
One Irish fan was quoted nearly €1k for two tickets to U2's Croke Park gig

Thousands of fans were left annoyed when they waited patiently online on the Ticketmaster site at 9am to book tickets, but did not manage to get any.

The online tickets were snapped up immediately, and there were long queues outside retail outlets selling tickets too.

Minutes later, however, a message popped up on the Ticketmaster site telling them its reselling company, SeatWave, had tickets for sale.

And some fans seeking tickets for the Dublin show in July 2017 claimed they were told the most-wanted tickets were unavailable before they even went on sale.

A number of U2 tickets became available on official and black market websites last week after diehard fans with access to pre-sale tickets chose to sell them on for a profit.

Tickets for the July 22 gig are priced from €39.05 (including booking fee) right up to €186 but they are now appearing on SeatWave for almost 13 times above face value.

Sources in the industry said a flurry of activity has seen fans splash out to guarantee their places at the gig.

Fans who subscribed to U2's official website were granted access to a pre-sale ticket portal last Wednesday. An annual subscription costs $50 (€47).

Tickets for the Lower Davin Stand and pitch areas of Croke Park have a face value of €76. There is an extra €3.30 charge for agent fees. Seats in other parts of the Cusack and Hogan stands range from €110 to €186. However, many of the tickets currently available on websites such as Seatwave and Viagogo are changing hands at much higher prices.

Seatwave is managed by Ticketmaster, the official ticket selling partner for the gig. It was advertising 650 tickets for sale last night. One pair of tickets for the standing section was being sold at €2,070 this weekend, including additional charges, 13 times above face value.

A spokesman for Ticketmaster said the Seatwave prices are not set by the company but by the person who is selling the tickets on.

"The thing about Seatwave is that it is a safe and secure market so tickets would be genuine. The ticket prices are set by the seller, which in this instance is not Ticketmaster, but that price may not necessarily be secured by the seller.

"Ticketmaster is just facilitating the sale."

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock, who has prepared a bill that would ban ticket touting, criticised the ticket retailer.

"We need this law to be enacted as soon as possible," he said. "Right now, the present situation suits touts, it suits Ticketmaster-owned Seatwave and as they make a commission from both buyer and seller, it suits Ticketmaster as it drives up early demand."

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