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TICKETMASTER HAS FACED criticism today from music fans facing prices of over €140 to attend the first Irish gig of pop sensation Lizzo.
Earlier this week, a presale of tickets for the gig at the Olympia took place, with the remainder of the tickets going on sale today at 10am. It was unclear how many tickets were left over when they went on sale today for the November gig in the 1,200-capacity theatre.
However, within minutes of the latest batch going on sale it became clear the majority of tickets were gone – with many fans tweeting that they were not being given any option of tickets to buy.
The remaining tickets available on the site today are ‘platinum’ tickets priced at €140.
On Twitter, Lizzo fans criticised Ticketmaster and questioned the decision to increase prices from the initial price of €44.45 to the “official platinum” ticket price of €140.
Ticketmaster also directed fans trying to buy tickets to ‘resale’ tickets, which are being resold via the site by fans. Some tickets listed as “re-sale” are still being sold on the Ticketmaster site for €140 with an additional €21 service charge and a €2.50 handling fee – bringing the total cost to over €160 for a single ticket.
Ticketmaster says that the service charge is 15% of the ticket price including VAT.
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, which helps to enforce consumer protection law, confirmed that five complaints have been received in relation to ticket sales for the gig.
What are platinum tickets?
On its website, Ticketmaster states that platinum tickets “give fans safe and fair access to some of the most in-demand tickets in the house at market-driven prices”.
“These aren’t resale tickets. Platinum tickets are being sold for the very first time through Ticketmaster. The prices are adjusted according to supply and demand, similar to how airline tickets and hotel rooms are sold.
“The goal is to give the most passionate fans fair and safe access to the most in-demand tickets while allowing the artists and everyone involved in staging live events to price tickets closer to their true value,” the website states.
The tickets do not give any ‘extras’ to ticket holders and are seats designated as ‘platinum’ by Ticketmaster.
During the afternoon, some platinum tickets were being advertised on Ticketmaster’s website for €170 – although at checkout the price returned to €140.
The website also states: “Platinum tickets are ticket-only purchases & prices are subject to change at any time.”
Re-sale tickets, which Ticketmaster says are “sold by fans at the price they paid, or less”, are available on the Ticketmaster website.
The Ticketmaster Ireland Twitter account responded to the numerous complaints on social media with the following response: “Have you tried searching for one ticket for resale? Resale Tickets are tickets sold by fans for fans – the listed price is what the fan paid for. Try searching for a single ticket for other ticket type options.”
Ticketmaster did not respond to a request for comment from TheJournal.ie.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Fine Gael TD Noel Rock, who has been a longtime campaigner for tighter regulation for ticket re-sales, said the prices being charged by Ticketmaster were “incredible”.
Rock, alongside Fianna Fáil’s Stephen Donnelly, has proposed legislation that would ban the above-face value resale of tickets for sporting and entertainment events in designated venues with a capacity of 1,000 or over in a bid to combat touting.
The long-awaited bill, which Rock said has been sent to Brussels to be scrutinised for its compatibility with competition law, was opposed by major ticketing companies, including Ticketmaster. After the proposed law was published, Ticketmaster shut down its ticket resale website, Seatwave.
Viagogo, a ticket reselling site, also sent a legal memorandum to ministers warning that the proposed law could be unconstitutional.
Rock said the legislation would prevent companies like Ticketmaster charging large service fees for re-sale tickets.
“You could get a meal for the amount people are paying in service charges,” he said.
“People are rightly asking where is the legislation,” Rock said. “Any sport or music fan doesn’t like seeing this happening.”
Lizzo also responded to fans’ frustrations on Twitter, promising “I’ll be in arenas next year… I want everyone to see the show”.