Tickets for Adele’s shows in Australia were immediately being resold for more than $5,000 after they were released on Monday.
Tickets for the singer’s show at Perth’s Domain Stadium were on sale for $5,645.18 through Viagogo – more than 18 times the maximum ticket price of $308.77, with no guarantee of the seat number.
Reselling sites were offering tickets for $2,590.29 for the Adelaide and Melbourne shows, $1,946.29 for Brisbane and $1,349 for Sydney.
Adele’s tour of Australia, in February and March next year, was announced last week. The singers has attempted to circumvent scalpers in the past through the use of paperless tickets and has spoken out against the practice in public.
The Viagogo tickets – which were offered through the primary seller Ticketek for less than $310 – had been promoted to the top position on Google using Google AdWords, prioritising the inflated listings over the authorised ticket seller. This meant many people searching for tickets may have mistaken Viagogo for the authorised sites.
Fans shared their frustration as the websites of official agents struggled to cope with the demand. Many fans spent an hour or more trying and failing to get through, although some were successful.
Adele’s shows in Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne are at Ticketmaster-affiliated venues, and went on sale two hours earlier at 10am AEDT Monday. Tickets for the Sydney and Adelaide shows were being sold through Ticketek from 12 noon AEDT.
On Monday Ticketmaster announced a second show in Brisbane and a second in Melbourne.
There is extraordinary demand for the tickets to Adele’s Australian shows, the artist’s first tour of the country, and scalpers are taking advantage, using automated bots to buy tickets in large quantities at high speeds before flipping them at inflated prices on resale sites.
Some of these tickets available through Viagogo may have been legitimately purchased during presales offered to stadium members last week. But with the high quantity of tickets listed so early in the day, it is likely that many were listed for resale before they had even been bought.
Both Ticketek and Ticketmaster have warned the public that tickets purchased through unauthorised sellers including Viagogo and Ticketmaster Resale – Ticketmaster’s own resale site – will not guarantee a ticketholder entry.
“We urge fans to avoid the resale scalper websites,” a Ticketek spokesman told Guardian Australia last week. “They are predatory and misleading. There is no guarantee those tickets are genuine and you risk being ripped off. We see countless examples of people who buy from resale and never receive tickets or find that they are the third or fourth buyer of the same ticket. Fans should only purchase tickets from the official ticketing agent.”
A Ticketmaster spokeswoman also urged the buyer to beware, warning the public that “unauthorised tickets may face entry problems”.
She explained that tickets to Adele’s shows won’t actually be printed until one month before the event, meaning “anyone listing tickets online unofficially won’t actually have tickets in hand. We’re feeding this info to fans as it’s hugely important to remember when looking at any tickets listed by non-official selling partners.”
As the Guardian reported, resale sites including Ticketmaster Resale and Viagogo stand to gain major profits in fees which are charged to both the buyer and the seller of resale tickets. Moreover, such tickets might not even get the buyer in: each stadium reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone who arrives with a ticket sold to them through an unauthorised seller – and while the resale site may offer a refund guarantee, they still walk away with the fees.
Under the umbrella of the global touring, events and promotions group Live Nation Entertainment, Ticketmaster’s own resale site stands to gain at least 25% on each secondary sale it makes. Last year Live Nation’s resale sites facilitated a gross transaction value of US$1.2bn globally.
Adele is a Live Nation tour, and tickets are not available through Ticketmaster Resale.
Scalpers are also using bots to buy tickets at higher speed and in higher quantities from the primary sellers Ticketek and Ticketmaster, and flipping them on the resale site Viagogo at inflated prices. Legislation is yet to catch up with the practice in Australia, although Senator Nick Xenophon revived his fight to get the federal government to legislate against these bots in September.
Speaking to Guardian Australia last week, Live Performance Australia’s chief executive, Evelyn Richardson, advised the public to “know where you’re buying your ticket from”. “If you’re buying on a secondary site, you can’t be sure that the ticket you’re buying is a valid ticket,” she said.
“If it’s for a show where the promoter or the venue say you can’t resell, then they reserve the right to cancel the ticket – and they may do that. And if you bought it on a secondary site, then getting a refund is going to be difficult.”
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010