Tuesday 28 January 2020

Singer Rag'n'Bone Man backs calls for clampdown on online ticket touts

By Laura Harding

He said it is heartbreaking his fans can’t afford to go to his shows.

Brit award winning singer Rag’n'Bone Man has backed calls for a clampdown on touts who buy tickets to his shows and sell them to fans online at inflated prices.

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee is taking evidence on the issue of ticketing abuse and website Viagogo recently failed to appear at a parliamentary hearing on the issue.

Tickets for his sold out show at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London are currently available on resale sites for more than £200.

He told the Press Association: “It’s frustrating for everybody. When tickets come out you see a spike in sales and in the pit of my stomach I hope it’s not touts but I know it is.

“They put them up for these prices, there must be something we can do to curb this, it’s not fair.

“I get heartbreaking messages from fans who can’t afford tickets at inflated prices. I want to be able to do something.

“It’s really difficult. I’m trying to talk to people who sell my tickets to do something because it’s not right that a £15 ticket now costs hundreds.”

Asked if it should be made illegal, he said: “It’s not the crime of the century but someone has to come up with a system that makes it more and more difficult.

“I’m not pissed off with someone making an extra tenner but this is ridiculous.”

Other musicians have hit out on the topic recently, with You Me At Six frontman Josh Franceschi and Stormzy criticising online ticket touts.

Last year, Josh told MPs on the committee that the future of live music depended on a clampdown on touts.

Rag’n'Bone Man, real name Rory Graham, recently followed in the footsteps of British bands such as Bastille and The 1975 by performing to great acclaim at South By Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas.

He joined the UK’s largest ever delegation at the festival as the Government attempts to help British music and business break new markets.

He said: “The reaction to the music was great. SXSW just is a crazy place.

“I thought maybe I would get lost in the noise of musicians but the reaction was amazing.

“I was nervous about playing to that audience but there was a full crowd.”

The singer is on a European tour, which will reach the UK on April 18.

He will embark on a US tour later this year.

PA Media

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