The UK festival industry has today officially endorsed secondary ticketing for the first time, with Reading, Leeds and Latitude signing up Viagogo as their official secondary platform, ahead of Reading and Leeds going on-sale later today.
This historic deal marks the first time major music festivals have signed a partnership of this kind. Viagogo (www.viagogo.co.uk) allows fans to buy and re-sell tickets in a secure environment. Viagogo guarantees the transaction and delivery of tickets so fans who buy will actually get their tickets, and fans who sell will actually get paid. It will not sell a ticket it doesn’t have and there will be a physical pick-up point at Leeds and Latitude festival sites and a pick up point in Reading town centre to allow fans to collect their tickets at or very close to the event.
Fans will be able to buy and sell Reading tickets here and Leeds tickets here.
Festival Republic chief Melvin Benn has led a personal crusade for many years to prevent live music fans from being ripped off by unscrupulous ticket touts. Previously, the Secondary Outlets (including Viagogo) were in Benn's line of fire, as they provided a platform by which people could legitimately buy festival tickets with the pure aim of re-selling them for a profit once the event had sold-out, at the expense of the loyal fan.
More recently, however, a far greater danger has emerged for fans, with a slew of fraudulent websites claiming they can guarantee tickets in exchange for a premium paid up-front (often before the tickets have even gone on-sale). Generally run by organised crime syndicates outside the UK, these sites rarely – if ever – deliver the tickets and usually disappear with the cash.
Melvin Benn, Managing Director of Festival Republic explains: “There were some disastrous ticketing issues last year leaving many fans disappointed after ‘buying’ non-existent resale tickets. A number of rouge ticketing websites sprung up offering fans tickets to our festivals that they did not posses. We have therefore agreed to work with viagogo as the recommended and only official ticket exchange for the Reading, Leeds, and Latitude festivals. If fans use other ticket exchanges or buy from unauthorized agents they risk being defrauded and not getting their festival tickets.”
The Reading and Leeds line-up (including headliners) will be announced on Virtual Festivals today at 7pm, when tickets will go on-sale.