Just what Spice Girls fans didn’t want – ex­pen­sive tick­ets and ‘tat’

Fans of Nineties girl band face miss­ing shows un­less they’re ready to cough up ex­tra cash for VIP pack­ages

The Sunday Telegraph - - News - By Katie Mor­ley CON­SUMER AF­FAIRS EDI­TOR

IT WAS the one thing thou­sands of Spice Girls fans re­ally, re­ally wanted. But yes­ter­day many faced the prospect of miss­ing out on the band’s forth­com­ing Spice World tour un­less they were pre­pared to fork out ex­tra for a VIP upgrade.

Many of the tick­ets on of­fer were “VIP pack­ages” cost­ing around £100 more than reg­u­lar tick­ets, but all fans get in ad­di­tion to their seat is a tote bag, a badge, some post­cards and an un­spec­i­fied “gift”, rais­ing ques­tions about their value for money.

Four out of six ticket cat­e­gories on of­fer at Tick­et­mas­ter were “VIP pack­age” tick­ets with in­flated prices, which in­clude a seat plus mer­chan­dise.

Gigsand­tours.com, the other official seller to the event, sold “Spice Cir­cle pre­mium stand” tick­ets for £210.

Tick­ets with ac­cess to the same stand­ing area as part of a VIP “Spice up Your Life VIP” pack­age cost £96 more at £306. The only dif­fer­ence be­tween the two tick­ets was the mer­chan­dise. Tick­et­mas­ter also had a range of VIP pack­ages named af­ter Spice Girl lyrics, in­clud­ing a “Zigazig Ah VIP” stand­ing ticket pack­age for £170, a “Say You’ll be There” pack­age for £230.

One fan said: “Wow!! I was look­ing at the VIP stand­ing (£176) which is a £100 more than nor­mal stan­dard and all you’d get is a load of tat? T-Boz has some com­pe­ti­tion!”

An­other said: “Can’t af­ford the in­flated prices, still tried to queue. Got booted off, logged back on for “ex­tra” dates only to see VIP left. Go fig­ure. Still, rich spice.”

Wayne Gri­er­son, chief ex­ec­u­tive at StubHub, a sec­ondary ticket site, said: “The rights holder sets the prices, de­cides on the avail­abil­ity of tick­ets and whether to pack­age tick­ets as part of VIP ex­pe­ri­ences.

“We con­tinue to advocate for the con­sumer’s right to know how many tick­ets are made avail­able to buy.

“We re­main con­cerned by the grow­ing trend of tick­ets be­ing made avail­able by rights hold­ers as part of VIP pack­ages, which may mean even less reg­u­lar tick­ets are ac­ces­si­ble by fans.”

Tick­ets went on sale at 10.30am yes­ter­day, but fans of the Nineties girl band com­plained as they were left wait­ing in queues for up to two hours, as thou­sands of peo­ple rushed to get tick­ets. Within min­utes tick­ets had ap­peared on sec­ondary tick­et­ing web­sites for up to £1,500 each, caus­ing ex­tra up­set.

Ex­tra dates were added in Lon­don, Coven­try and Manch­ester with the first batch of tick­ets for the orig­i­nal six dates sell­ing out in just min­utes. Andrew Parsons, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor at Tick­et­mas­ter, said de­mand for Spice Girls broke its pre­vi­ous records with a queue of 700,000 fans wait­ing for tick­ets at one stage. He said: “They have smashed through Tick­et­mas­ter UK’s records be- com­ing the busiest ever sale. There were mil­lions of peo­ple on our site search­ing for tick­ets, with a queue at one point of well over 700,000.

“Hun­dreds of thou­sands of tick­ets were sold to happy fans across the coun­try within min­utes. Con­grat­u­la­tions to the girls. From what we saw, they could have played nearly every night for a year.” Adam French, Which? con­sumer rights ex­pert, said: “While many fans will be des­per­ate to get their hands on Spice Girls tick­ets for next year’s tour, don’t get car­ried away with the hype and end up spend­ing more than you planned to pay.”

The Spice Girls – Me­lanie Chisholm, Geri Horner, Emma Bun­ton and Me­lanie Brown, mi­nus Vic­to­ria Beck­ham – be­ing in­ter­viewed for ITV’s The Jonathan Ross Show

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.