Industry News

Goldsmith calls Royal Albert Hall reselling “morally reprehensible”

Live Aid promoter Harvey Goldsmith has urged the Charity Commission to take action against the Royal Albert Hall owner after it allowed the reselling of tickets for a Dave Gilmour concert.

Goldsmith, speaking to the Daily Telegraph newspaper, called the decision to allow debenture ticket holders to sell their seats to see the former Pink Floyd star “morally reprehensible”.

The debenture holders, who own a fifth of the hall’s 5,000 seats, were able to sell on their free tickets for the gigs in September 2015 rather than return them to the box office for sale at face value. The Telegraph reports that “a majority of these seat holders also dominate the charity’s ruling council, which has raised questions about whether it is being run for the public benefit”.

William Shawcross, the Charity Commission’s chairman, told the Telegraph that the “scale of commercialisation in the private sale of seats raises questions about whether the charity is in fact operating for the public benefit as required by law”.

Goldsmith said: “It is absolutely disgraceful. It is morally reprehensible for the council to allow this to happen. It is down to the Charity Commission which controls the status of the Royal Albert Hall to do something about it.”

Goldsmith, according to the Telegraph, considered a boycott of his acts from the Royal Albert Hall following the fall-out, but thought it would be futile to act alone.

A spokesman for the Royal Albert Hall said: “Members’ seats are their own private property with their rights enshrined in the Hall’s Royal Charter and Acts of Parliament; neither the Hall nor the promoter has the ability to impose restrictions on how [they] choose to use or dispose of their tickets.”