Final U2 tickets go on sale, but fans have already given into scalpers

2019-06-11 02:04:03

Before U2's tickets even went on sale to the general public, ticket scalpers had already ripped off the band's New Zealand fans.

Tickets for U2's November show at Mt Smart Stadium would go on sale at 2pm on Tuesday, after three rounds of pre-sales which started last week.

The Irish rockstars' Joshua Tree anniversary tour had tickets from $63, with the front row seats getting up to $400 and VIP packages from between $450 and $900.

Before the general release sale had started, resale sites such as Viagogo were already selling tickets to the band's only New Zealand show. And some fans, who have contacted Stuff, said they felt tricked into buying the scalped tickets – as they didn't know Viagogo wasn't the original ticket seller.

While tickets direct from Ticketmaster could cost as little as $63, the cheapest Viagogo had was $161 per ticket.

Clare Palmer already had tickets to see U2 with five of her friends.

The band would play at Mt Smart Stadium on Friday, November 8. They were last in New Zealand nine years ago, when they paid tribute to the Pike River victims just one week after the tragedy.

Palmer said her friend accidentally bought tickets from Viagogo, unaware that it wasn't the original site.

Where the same tickets were on sale at Ticketmaster for $120, Palmer said her friend ended up paying $287 per ticket.

Viagogo's press office stressed that the tickets sold on its site were from third parties. Rather than being a ticket seller, Viagogo called itself a "marketplace".

But Palmer said that wasn't good enough, and she said it was "not at all obvious that these were ticket resale sites".

"It wasn't until the adrenaline and euphoric rush of buying tickets to a fun gig faded that I paused to reflect on what had just happened. My friend texted asking me to transfer $554 and so I plucked up the courage to ask what website she had used to buy them," she said.

Viagogo said its service was legal and tickets sold on its site were "valid".

"All tickets on Viagogo are valid and it is perfectly legal to resell a ticket or give it to someone else if you want to. Viagogo is a marketplace and doesn't buy or sell tickets," it said in a statement.

The site paid Google to come up as the first result for major gigs. If you searched U2 now, Viagogo's result came above Ticketmaster as an advert on the search engine.

In February, Commerce Minister Kris Faafoi announced his intention to crack down on scalpers.

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