Ticketmaster has defended its Seatwave resale business from criticism after Irish U2 fans complained that tickets to see the band were being resold for €900 (€793/$955) before they even went on general sale.
Ticketmaster, which is the official ticket partner of U2’s The Joshua Tree Tour 2017, said it was resellers rather than the exchange itself which set prices.
Tickets went on sale to U2 fan club members last week, but only went on open sale earlier today (Monday). The Dublin gig at Croke Park reportedly sold out within six minutes, although it is expected that further dates will be added in Ireland and throughout Europe and North America.
Seatwave was advertising 650 tickets for sale on Sunday night, according to the Irish Independent. One pair of tickets for the standing section was being sold at €2,070, which including additional charges is 13 times above face value.
A spokesperson for Ticketmaster told the Irish Independent newspaper that Seatwave prices are not set by the company but by the reseller.
“The thing about Seatwave is that it is a safe and secure market so tickets would be genuine,” the spokesperson said. “The ticket prices are set by the seller, which in this instance is not Ticketmaster, but that price may not necessarily be secured by the seller. Ticketmaster is just facilitating the sale.”
Fine Gael politician Noel Rock, who has prepared a bill that would ban ticket touting, criticised the ticket retailer. He said: “We need this law to be enacted as soon as possible. Right now, the present situation suits touts, it suits Ticketmaster-owned Seatwave and as they make a commission from both buyer and seller, it suits Ticketmaster as it drives up early demand.”
Live Nation Global Touring is producing the Joshua Tree tour, which will also see them perform at Twickenham in London and stadiums across Europe and North America.
Those attempting to buy tickets when they went on sale today were faced with an ‘I’m not a robot’ checkbox to deter the use of bots. Tickets were no longer available for the Twickenham gig on July 8 shortly after 9am.
Music Week reported that a second Twickenham gig on July 9 has already been confirmed, with Live Nation describing interest as “phenomenal”.
John Giddings, who is promoting the European dates for Live Nation, said: “The wave of support behind it is incredible. The reaction is phenomenal.”