Ed Sheeran 'not trying to stitch fans up' over UK tour tickets

By Sinead Garvan
Newsbeat entertainment reporter


Ed Sheeran says his "strong" approach on secondary tickets for his gigs will benefit fans in the long run.

People who turned up to the first dates of his UK tour in Manchester with resold tickets were told they were invalid and had to buy new ones.

"The only people it is going to harm in the end is the touts," Ed told Newsbeat at the Biggest Weekend in Swansea.

"I hate the idea of people paying more than face value for tickets when you can get them at face value."

Image caption,
Ed spoke to Newsbeat at the Biggest Weekend in Swansea

Some fans were angry at their tickets not being valid, including one woman who said she was "fuming" after apparently paying £400 for two tickets.

Secondary ticketing is when people buy tickets for a gig and resell them - usually using sites like Viagogo, StubHub, GetMeIn and Seatwave.

Consumer rights group the Fan Fair Alliance says these sites are used by ticket touts, resulting in something which is "hugely damaging" to the music business.

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When Ed Sheeran's latest tour dates went on sale, he stated that secondary tickets would not be valid.

His promoters have cancelled more than 10,000 tickets that were resold on Viagogo - often at vastly inflated prices - for 18 dates in the star's sold-out tour.

Image caption,
Ed Sheeran on stage at the Biggest Weekend in Swansea

In Manchester, fans with resold tickets were asked to pay £80, which is the face value of a ticket.

Their original ticket was then stamped invalid.

Ed says those people are legally able to get a refund from the secondary ticket site.

"It's all being done properly I'm not trying to stitch fans up," he told us.

"People just need to start taking a stance and within two or three years companies like Viagogo are going to be kaput (no longer in business).

"Loads of acts are doing it, Arctic Monkeys, Adele, no one is OK with it.

"The fans are not OK with secondary tickets. Sometimes you can spend all that money and it is a fake ticket.

"I think it is just about being strong and not giving in."

Image caption,
Ed Sheeran was the opening act at the Biggest Weekend in Swansea

Ed's manager Stuart Galbraith agreed, telling Newsbeat: "Everyone who has been through this process has been really grateful".

"We've had no complaints, we are just trying to make sure people don't get ripped off.

"We will help you get your refund off Viagogo and other secondary sites."

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Viagogo directed the BBC to the FAQ section of its website when asked for a response to this story.

It says it protests against concert promoters who deny entry to fans using resold tickets.

"These types of entry restrictions are highly unfair and in our view, unenforceable and illegal," it says.

Newsbeat has put Ed Sheeran's comments to Viagogo and is awaiting a response.

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