A major music promoter in Australia has declared war on scalpers by stating that any tickets bought from unauthorised sites will be declared invalid.
Promoter Michael Chugg said his Chugg Entertaiment company will not accommodate fans who purchased invalid tickets from websites such as Viagogo or Gumtree that turn out to be non-genuine. According to the Herald Sun newspaper, tickets purchased from an unauthorised seller will be verified as fraudulent and voided.
Chugg Entertainment has toured hundreds of major international acts in Australia including Coldplay, Radiohead, Elton John, Robbie Williams and Florence + The Machine.
Chugg said the issue of secondary tickets came to a head earlier this month when more than 50 people were denied entry to a UB40 concert in Western Australia.
“Someone used six stolen credit cards and bought a whole lot of UB40 tickets from Oztix, then sold them to Viagogo and other places who sold them on,” Chugg told the Herald Sun. “Innocent people bought these fraudulent tickets, we had 50 odd people turn up to see UB40 with these tickets and we had to turn them away.”
Chugg said he has teamed up with rival promoter Michael Gudinski, of Frontier, to campaign for greater policing of ticket sales in the music industry. He said the authorities should bring in the same restrictions that cover sport, with several states having enacted legislation that prevents the reselling of tickets for major events.
“We have to try and stop this for once and for all,” Chugg said. “It has to happen. At the moment the government cares more about the sporting events and ticket scalping than they do about the music industry. The music industry brings in millions, even billions, in overseas and local earnings. The live music industry employs thousands of people.
“We need to be more respected. Once you sit down with politicians and explain it they understand it. But there’s not enough understanding of how our industry works at a federal and local government level. That’s the problem we face.”