Industry News

Sheeran blasts ‘unethical’ secondary tickets market

Ed Sheeran has become the latest major music act to publicly condemn the secondary ticketing market, accusing some in the sector of “unethical practices”.

The ‘Thinking Out Loud’ singer has asked fans not to buy tickets to his gigs at over-inflated prices. Like fellow British star Adele, he has teamed up with face value ticket platform Twickets for his April and May concerts.

Sheeran’s criticism came after fans complained that tickets sold out with official sellers such as The Ticket Factory within moments, but were soon being sold for as much as £1,000 (€1163/$1249) on resale sites.

“We are vehemently opposed to the unethical practices that occur in the secondary market,” said a representative for Sheeran “We have written to each of our partners, be they promoters, venues or ticketing companies detailing the way in which we expect tickets to be sold: direct to fans.

“We have also partnered with a company called Twickets, which is a site aimed at the ethical resale of tickets. It allows fans to swap tickets at face value or less; we are pushing them as the official resale partner and a safe place for fans to swap tickets.

“We are aware and deeply concerned about the websites in question and have urged all fans not to engage with them in order to avoid being ripped off with higher prices or, potentially, counterfeit tickets.

“Once again, we urge all fans to only purchase tickets through official vendors.”

Meanwhile, a Sheeran fan claims to have been forced to sell her car and move home after being ‘fleeced’ out of £1,300 for the star’s Manchester Arena gig.

Charlotte Duckworth, 21, said ticket resale site Viagogo did not make it clear that tickets she was buying were £440 each, rather than for the three she required.

The 21-year-old told the Manchester Evening News that she had a terrible shock when she saw her credit card statement, and is now hoping to recoup her money.

Duckworth said: “After a horrible year last year all I wanted was to start this year off with a bang and see my idol. Instead I’m now in £1329.41 worth of debt.

“I was rushing to buy the tickets because when you’re putting your details in lots of pop ups come on the screen saying there’s 20 people waiting for these tickets. You’re also being timed.

“I thought I had paid £377 for all three tickets. Turns out that was per ticket as well as a large booking fee.

“It was only later when I realised that I had been charged £1,547 on the credit card. I have tried everything to get my money back from Viagogo but they have refused and I feel like I have been misled into buying over priced tickets. I had never heard of Viagogo before and didn’t realise they could do this.”

Viagogo has yet to respond to a request for comment from the newspaper.