Portsmouth Guildhall launches campaign against online ticket touts

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THE city's biggest live entertainment venue has launched an awareness campaign to help prevent its customers from being ripped off by unscrupulous sources.

Portsmouth Guildhall is calling the campaign Your Tickets – Be Sure, Be Secure, and aims to ensure its customers are better informed about where they are buying their tickets from and the problems it could potentially cause.

It follows a rise in tickets being purchased through secondary ticket agents and resale sites.

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The Guildhall only sells tickets through its website, at the venue, Ticketmaster and a small number of accredited agents who are agreed with each show.

They say:

n Be sure – know who you are buying your tickets from.

n Be secure – know that you are purchasing legitimate tickets and understand the risks you are taking if you do not purchase through an accredited seller or agent.

When customers buy tickets from resale sites or unaccredited agents, if there is a problem with the show – like when alternative-rock act Placebo were forced to cancel their gig last November – letting the ticket-holder know or refunding them can become impossible.

There were also instances where dishonest sellers had sold the same tickets multiple times, resulting in people being turned away.

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Head of operations Rachel Maryan said: ‘We want people to have a great time when they come to Portsmouth Guildhall and we always aim to give our customers the best service we can. Many of our shows do sell out quickly and we know it’s tempting if you find tickets for a sold out show for sale on other sites.

‘We just want people to understand where they are buying their tickets from and know the risks they are taking if they do go ahead and buy from unauthorised outlets.’

Marketing manager Kelly Haswell added: ‘When we have really popular shows go on sale, it can go mad and people will just buy tickets from wherever they can – we’ll see tickets go up on resale sites at crazy prices very quickly. We want to make people think about where they are getting their tickets from.’

The secondary ticketing market in the UK is estimated to be worth £1bn a year which is damaging to artists, the music and entertainment industries and drives up prices for the genuine fans.

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Take That star Gary Barlow is playing a pair of shows at the venue in June which sold out in minutes. You can currently buy tickets for at least double their face value from resale sites like Viagogo and Stubhub.

For more information, check out the Fanfair Alliance’s Guide for Fans at fanfairalliance.org.