Thursday, March 12, 2009

"I bought my tickets off a man with no nose" "How do they smell?" "

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal revealed how Britney Spears and Neil Diamond appeared to be scalping their own tickets.

Today, sister paper The Times reveals that Michael Jackson has been doing the same thing - or, at least, the promoter of his shows:

The Times understands that outside the official sale of the tickets, AEG Live approached secondary ticketing companies — which allow people to resell tickets to sporting and music events — offering to provide them directly with between 500 and 1,000 tickets for each performance.

It is thought that AEG Live offered the tickets on the understanding that they were sold at about £500 each, with 80 per cent of the revenue returning to AEG Live and the secondary ticketing company taking the remaining 20 per cent.

Last night tickets for seats closest to the stage were on sale on Viagogo for thousands of pounds. Other seats in prime locations seemed to be on sale at surprisingly uniform rates, with many priced at £418 and £659.

AEG Live did not deny its links to Viagogo. The company previously said in a statement: “In an effort to ensure fans are able to purchase premium tickets and exchange tickets directly with other fans, AEG Live has entered into an agreement with Viagogo. The online site allows people to buy and sell live event tickets in a safe and guaranteed way.”

Is it just me, or does that statement totally miss the point - the question would seem to be 'have you deliberately started selling tickets on the secondary market, rather than sell them for face value', to which that is not an answer.

There is an argument that some, or perhaps all, tickets for popular events be sold through an auction; but surely the most important thing is that the process is transparent?

If AEG wants to charge £500 for a £50 ticket, why can't it be honest about it?

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