Sunday, July 03, 2005


When your everyday Joe was found to be selling tickets on Ebay, the condemnations came thick and fast - Geldof, you'll remember, was angry about people making cash off the backs of the starving; Harvey Goldsmith took the opportunity to wave his own personal flag around about the whole concept of people selling tickets for anything on Ebay, a trade which doesn't actually affect him at all, since he still sells his tickets if he sells them to a person who attends the gig, or sells them on. But, anyway, the picture was clear - selling tickets made you scum.

Curiously, though, the reaction to the mark-up being charged on the "golden circle" tickets for the hospitality tent was a lot more muted - despite the already disgusting £800 tickets changing hands for as much as £1250. Indeed, Goldsmith seemed more bothered about if they'd done the right thing at all having the VIP area than the people selling them on:

He said: "At the time we weren't sure we had the funds we now have to cover the costs. Maybe it was a mistake on my part."

(Well, yes, it was a mistake - or rather, by creating the disgusting spectacle of a bunch of rich people sipping Pimms in the middle of an event which was meant to be demonstrating that everyone, effectively, is all the same, completely destroyed any sense that Live 8 was a coherently concieved idea. But that's besides the point.)

So: someone flogs a freebie ticket they won for a few quid, and they're the scum of the earth. But told people are selling luxury tickets, and all we hear is a little mumble that perhaps there shouldn't have been a luxury zone in the first place, rather than an angry denunciation of the whole industry that exists to sell on these high class tickets? Why is that, Harvey: why won't you apply the same standards to those selling to the incredibly rich as you expect of Ebay?