The Great Ticket Scandal - Virtual Festivals' response

Dispatches documentary - what you need to know

The Great Ticket Scandal - Virtual Festivals' response

Photographer:Sara Bowrey

Chris Swindells - 24 February 2012

Last night Dispatches on Channel 4 broadcast 'The Great Ticket Scandal', a documentary highlighting alleged corruption in the second hand ticketing market, which accused a number of ticketing sites, including viagogo and Seatwave of a variety of underhand practices. Virtual Festivals as advocates for genuine live music fans, and honesty and integrity in the ticketing market have been commenting on this issue for more than a year now and are supporters of the move to limit the profiteering on secondary ticket sales.

The documentary claims tickets for recent gigs and tours by Coldplay, Rihanna, Westlife, Take That, and V Festival have been allocated by the promoters directly to secondary ticketing websites like viagogo.

In early 2011 we investigated and documented similar allegations against promoters and secondary ticketing websites, speaking to major figures in the industry.

Click here for our series of ticketing exposes - part one & part two.

With resale website Seatwave opening a store in the walk-way to The O2 venue complex in London, Virtual Festivals urge readers to carefully consider using these sites or their stores before purchasing tickets.

We have long supported the work of Sharon Hodgson MP who appeared in the documentary and has fiercely campaigned for a change in the law around the resale of live music and festival tickets. We would urge you to support Sharon Hodgson and visit her website for more information here and to find out how you can help change the law around the secondary ticket market.

Unfortunately Sharon has not been able to have her official e-petition submissions accepted because others already exist on the subject - infact there are five already. The one that has most support with the focus of limiting profiteering on secondary ticket sales is this one  so we urge you to sign the petition on the HM government website to force MPs to raise the issue in parliament. You can also send a letter or email to your local MP - find out who your local MP is here.
Meanwhile Sharon is going to re-approach Jeremy Hunt (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) to suggest there public support for a change in the law. There will be a letter going to the OFT around specific examples of such activity also.

As a friend of the Association of Independent Festivals, Virtual Festivals would like to recommend genuine ticket sellers and buyers use their ticketing service, The Ticket Trust, a place where music lovers can exchange unwanted tickets at face value.

Alternatively Scarlet Mist offer a service  to introduce buyers and sellers of music and festival tickets to one another which is free to use and requires sellers to sell tickets at face value.

Click here to watch 'The Great Ticket Scandal' on Channel 4.


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