Ed Sheeran cancels thousands of tickets to upcoming tour to fight scalpers
Days after Nine Inch Nails began trialling a rather antiquated way of selling concert tickets where they’ll only be available physically, Ed Sheeran has begun doing his best to help fans avoid falling victim to scalpers, working with a team of promoters to identify and cancel the tickets purchased by known scalpers for his upcoming tour.
Inspired to act after tickets to a Teenage Cancer Trust gig were bought and sold for profit, the star has attempted to break new ground by cancelling tickets bought for his tour to ensure fans haven’t been suckered in to buying tickets at inflated prices from scalpers.
As the BBC reports, over 10,000 tickets to Sheeran’s current tour have been cancelled, with promoters identifying tickets bought by known scalpers, and cancelling any tickets listed for sale on controversial sites such as Viagogo.
Those who did buy tickets from a resale site have been given assistance in obtaining a refund and acquiring genuine tickets. So far, more than £240,000 ($AU425,571) has been returned to fans who purchased these invalid tickets.
“We’re achieving exactly what Ed wanted, which is ‘we want you to come in and pay this [fixed] price,'” said Stuart Galbraith of Kilimanjaro Live, noting that they also partnered with sites such as StubHub to ensure they didn’t list tickets to the tour. “The only agency which listed against our wishes and ignored all our correspondence was Viagogo.”
While attempts to stop scalpers are not new, and this sort of method has been trialled before by a number of festivals, this is the first time it has been attempted for a large-scale tour of this kind.
“We’ll have teams that say, ‘your ticket is invalid’ and it’ll be stamped invalid. That’s important because it will enable them to go back to Viagogo and claim a refund,” continued Galbraith, noting that fans unaware of their tickets being invalidated will be directed to a customer care team.
“What we’ll also then do is… send them to the next window and sell them a ticket at face value,” he explained. “We genuinely hope we turn away as few people as possible. Because at the end of the day, even the people who’ve bought in the secondary market, as far as Ed is concerned, are still his [fans].”
Ed Sheeran has also teamed up with Twickets for his current UK tour, which aims to help fans find an easier and safer way of exchanging or selling their tickets, ensuring that they can only be sold for face value, thereby eliminating the chance of fans being overcharged.
This news of course comes just one day after Splendour In The Grass organisers were forced to defend the high fees charged by their own ticket resale facility, which fans have slammed as “basically scamming everyone that wants to go to Splendour.”
“There are hard costs associated with being able to offer the resale facility – tech development, administration, labour and ongoing management, a huge amount of inquiries, complications,” explained Splendour In The Grass’ Jessica Ducrou.
“I know there’s suggestions that we’re making a bunch of money out of this, and yes we’re a business and we do need to make money from the event, but we’re definitely not retiring off this resale.”
“It’s not a huge revenue generator at all.”
“There’s incredible demand for tickets. If we didn’t have the resale facility in place, we would find them on the market for thousands and thousands of dollars.”
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The article was originally published on The Industry Observer