Ticketmaster’s resale operations have been labelled “deeply offensive to music fans” following Celine Dion’s Auckland sellout this week.
David Farrier, a prominent New Zealand journalist and filmmaker, attacked the ticketing giant’s “officially endorsed ‘resale’ sites” in a series of tweets after Dion’s tickets appeared on the secondary market soon after they sold out.
General release tickets went on sale midday Monday and sold out hours later, with tickets appearing on resale sites immediately at double the price.
Ticketmaster’s own resale site advertised tickets for between NZ$800 (£421/€475/$589) and NZ$1150 on Monday afternoon.
The cheapest ticket on Ticketmaster’s resale site was for an upper seat, located towards the back of the arena, for NZ$460. The ticket, originally sold for NZ$119, had been marked up by NZ$341 – almost two-and-a-half times its original value.
Farrier tweeted: “I signed up for the Celine dion presale last week: no luck today, her 2 concerts went on general sale and both cme back with ‘no results match you search’… but at the bottom is a handy link to ‘find resale tickets.’”
In a separate tweet he added: “We all know the concert ticket industry is screwed both here in New Zealand and overseas, but I find an officially endorsed ‘resale’ site – run by @ticketmaster – to be deeply offensive to music fans.”
we all know the concert ticket industry is screwed both here in new zealand and overseas, but i find an officially endorsed "resale" site – run by @ticketmaster – to be deeply offensive to music fans
— David Farrier (@davidfarrier) February 19, 2018
A Ticketmaster spokeswoman provided a statement in defence of its Resale service. She said it was a safe avenue for people to buy tickets from third parties.
“Ticketing marketplaces are dynamic and react to demand. With high-profile events, tickets are sometimes listed at prices higher than the face value,” she said.
Dion is set to perform at Auckland’s Spark Arena on August 11 and 12.