Use your Ed, Glasgow
Sheeran backs calls for gig venues to tighten up over tickets
ED SHEERAN has joined the clamour for Scotland’s biggest venue to take a stand against ticket touts.
The world’s biggest artist is backing the Record’s campaign to persuade the SSE Hydro to bring in a ticketing operation that locks out touts and protects fans.
The burning issue that has enraged live music fans was ignited last week when Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken promised to probe the relationship between Ticketmaster and their tout subsidiary Get Me In! at the SSE Hydro.
When a five-year deal was signed between the Hydro – which is 90 per cent council owned – and Live Nation-owned Ticketmaster in 2014, bosses were warned the relationship would result in a toutfest. As predicted BY MARK MCGIVERN Chief Reporter by major promoters, the SSE Hydro – one of the busiest arenas in the world – became the main hunting ground in Scotland for touts from around the world.
Shape of You singer Ed, whose current tour is one of the biggest in history, has been at the vanguard of anti-tout measures, enforcing rules that forbid selling on briefs on sites like Get Me In! and toxic rival Viagogo.
His manager Stuart Camp told the Record the Hydro should take a leaf from the book of the O2 Arena and SSE Wembley Arena in London.
The venues, owned by Live Nation’s major global rival AEG, just announced they would cap profits on resale at 10 per cent via their in-house AXS ticket operation and Flash Seats technology.
Stuart said: “It’s with great interest we’ve been monitoring what has been happening at the 02. It would be such a big step forward if every venue, including the SSE Hydro, was to follow its lead.”
The Record’s Stub Out the Touts campaign has made it crystal clear that real fans are being abused.
We have told how touts have made millions using computer trickery and sneaky tactics, including the use of multiple identities and scores of credit cards in the names of employees, family and friends. Britain’s top authority on ticket abuse Reg Walker, of the Iridium Consultancy, believes the Hydro must follow the lead of the O2.
Walker said: “It is the biggest game-changer in ticketing for a generation and the question must be asked as to why the Glasgow Hydro and other venues are not bringing in similar measures?”
Adam Webb, of pressure group FanFair Alliance, said the UK ticketing world is changing fast.
He said: “The UK ticketing business is shifting towards more consumer-friendly forms of resale, so it’s hardly surprising that questions are being raised about the Hydro.
“We would love to see Ticketmaster follow suit and stop promoting a service dependent on high-volume commercial sellers who rip off genuine fans.”
It’s the biggest gamechanger in ticketing REG WALKER ON O2 ARENA PRICING CAP
FANS FIRST Ed Sheeran has been enforcing rules to prevent the sell-on of tickets. Pic: WireImage FOLLOW THE LEAD The SSE Hydro should implement rules like the O2 in London
SUPPORT Stuart Camp
PROBE Susan Aitken