The Sydney Opera House has defended its presale for Lizzo’s tour after tickets appeared on Viagogo for as much as A$19,000.

Fans of the American pop star reported being 11,000th in the queue for the January 2020 Truth Hurts concert at the iconic 6,000-seat venue in the Australian city.

The Sydney Opera House claims to have taken forceful action to avoid its presale being subjected to bots. Tickets went on sale this morning (Wednesday) ahead of tomorrow’s launch of the general sale, and sold out in a matter of minutes.

Venue operators claim it is monitoring fraudulent behaviour, and promised fans that tickets would not be sent out until the day of the event.

It said in a statement: “The Sydney Opera House takes ticket scalping seriously. Across all Sydney Opera House events we have system checks in place to monitor fraudulent behaviours, and tickets may be cancelled without notice if these checks detect any anomalies.

“As is standard practice, tickets for Lizzo’s Sydney Opera House show will only be dispatched on the day of the event – Monday 6 January, 2020 – to restrict unauthorised resales.”

Ticket bots are illegal in New South Wales, but not in the rest of Australia, with fines currently as high as A$110,000. The federal government said in a regulatory impact statement published in November last year that a nationwide ban on bots would give consumers fairer access to tickets but said more work was required to develop an enforcement and penalty regime for the ban.

It has instead chosen to require resellers to reveal the face value of the tickets, and that the websites selling those tickets are not the primary ticket sellers.

Image: Andy Witchger