Kilimanjaro Live, the promotion company of Ed Sheeran which is being sued for alleged fraud by Viagogo, has labelled the ticket resale platform’s claims as “ludicrous, laughable and most importantly totally false.”

Viagogo announced yesterday (Tuesday) that it was suing Kilimanjaro Live and its chief executive Stuart Galbraith for allegedly “confiscating thousands of genuine tickets at the gate, forcing fans to buy new tickets, and pocketing millions of pounds in duplicate sales.”

Viagogo said that Galbraith is being sued for defrauding thousands of fans out of “several million pounds” on Sheeran’s 2017 tour. According to Viagogo, Kilimanjaro Live set up “fake Viagogo customer services booths” at venues, luring fans into declaring that they were Viagogo customers. Kilimanjaro Live then allegedly confiscated authentic tickets and forced fans to buy new ones.

Kilimanjaro Live has refuted the allegations. A statement posted on the promoter’s Twitter account read: “The claims made today by Viagogo are ludicrous, laughable and most importantly totally false.

“This is a transparent attempt to deflect attention away from their upcoming appearance at the DCMS inquiry and the wide-ranging criticisms, multiple legal prosecutions in many territories (including by the Competitions and Markets Authority in the UK) and condemnation of their business practices. Kilimanjaro will defend against this action vigorously and look forward to doing so in court.”

The development comes with Viagogo due to face a hearing with UK MPs today, when it is set to answer for a host of controversies. It comes almost a year after Viagogo refused to appear in front of MPs at a previous evidence session.

As Kilimanjaro Live alluded to, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority last week announced that it is taking Viagogo to court for allegedly breaking consumer protection laws. The watchdog said that the resale website had failed to make sufficient changes, following previous warnings, to bring it in line with regulations.

The CMA initiated enforcement action against four resale platforms in November 2017 following a probe into the secondary ticketing industry.

GetMeIn, Seatwave and StubHub made the necessary changes, but the CMA said in a statement on Friday that Viagogo had continued to contravene the law by failing to tell customers there is a risk they could be turned away at the door of events, due to restrictions placed on some resold tickets.

Image: Christopher Johnson