Tout-targeting at Leeds Festival a success, say bosses

Scenes at Leeds Festival 2010 by Sara Bowrey
Scenes at Leeds Festival 2010 by Sara Bowrey

Leeds Festival in 2010 saw a significant drop in ticket touting compared to previous years due to a "multi-agency tout response vehicle", according to organisers Festival Republic.

The team behind the event claimed its work with West Yorkshire Police and other agencies saw a significant disruption to the activities of ticket touts.

Festival Republic boss Melvin Benn praised the organised approach from the various agencies involved and stressed his desire to keep it going.

Each year, touts line the roads approaching Leeds Festival to sell to ticket-less festival-goers who will pay above the retail price to attend.

"I was keen to try and take action against touts offsite because they have disrupted our traffic plan and exploited our festival goers for years,”
he Benn, “I was delighted that agencies were able to join together in such a united and organised manner and that we could finally disrupt the touts' activities.

“We hope very much to repeat the response vehicle in 2011 and are very grateful to all the agencies involved for their co-operation."

In spite of the infamy of ticket touting, it is not actually an illegal practice, so the agencies had to use other ways to tackle the problem.

Speaking for West Yorkshire Police, Inspector Marcus Griffiths said, "With the huge influx of traffic in the run-up to the festival, touts operating from the roadside were causing real and potential traffic hazards. I think the proof of the pudding was in the eating – the number of touts operating on the second and third days of our operation tailed off to nothing, thus keeping our roads clear of potential hazards."