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Peter Kay ticket chaos prompts new calls to ban online touts

14:48Ciaran McCormick

Thousands of fans queued online for Peter Kay tickets today. The popular comedian is returning to tour in 2018 after eight years away from touring live stand-up so demand was high and the queues online staggering.

However, many fans reported difficulties getting tickets as the website crashed. Loyal fans and ordinary members of the public were shocked to find that the tickets they were trying to buy for a face value of around £40-50 could easily be picked up for much higher prices on third party websites within minutes.



These sites do not just include shady online ticket touts but prestigious reticketing websites that are even endorsed or owned by the official provider. Is there not an obvious conflict of interest there and an incentive not to get every ticket to genuine buyers?

For example, Stubhub, owned by a company called eBay (heard of them?), were selling their handfuls of precious seats at prices ranging between £210 and £500.


Similar issues were experienced with other resellers such as GetMeIn and Viagogo, both offering obscenely inflated prices.

Leaving aside who would purchase tickets for any show at this price, let alone Peter Kay, this is an insult from the industry for hard-working ordinary people wanting to splash out on a treat night out.

Touting has now been turned into a specialist industry, where computer experts use automated bots to harvest tickets from outlets as soon as they are put on general release.
Many people are unsure whether they are buying from the genuine source or a reticketing website where they are likely to get ripped off. Before researching this article, I didn’t know that big names like Viagogo were actually glorified touts.

The industry is starting to wake up to the potential damage by official and unofficial reselling of their tickets. Money is being diverted from the industry and your favourite artist. Reticketing is against their terms and conditions, so they have the power to prevent resold tickets being used.

Ed Sheeran is one of the high profile names who has clamped down on the practice. His promoters cancelled over 10,000 tickets to his tour after they were sold at inflated prices. They were thenre-sold at face value through authorised outlets. This reveals that there will always be a risk if you buy tickets outside of the official channel. Don’t support touts by buying their tickets.

The government has also shown willing in the past to clamp down on touts in other industries. It is illegal to resell tickets to Premier League football matches and fans were unable to buy tickets for the London 2012 Olympics outside of the official ticket lotteries.

So if you were left frustrated when you tried to get Peter Kay tickets or were stuck in the queue for your favourite comedian, musician or theatre performance, urge your local MP to vote for legislation banning touting rather than lax self-regulation that has little effect.

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