Kate Bush Tickets – More About The Secondary Ticketing FiascoKeith Goldhanger looks at the re-selling of tickets at vast prices once again, this time fingering the people who help the Viagogos of this world sell tickets.

A notable acknowledgement on the subject of secondary ticketing companies emerged this week on, a subject about which I wrote loads here on Louder Than War last year.

The scramble for Kate Bush tickets began at 09.30hrs last Friday (28-03) and by 09.33 hrs there were already tickets available on one of the “secondary ticketing” websites from £650.00 upwards.

Outraged music fans and readers of Louder than War may have caught our own John Robb on BBC breakfast recently head to head with Steve Roest from Viagogo, a man who managed in the allotted time of six and a half minutes to avoid answering the simple question “where do these tickets actually come from?” whilst also maintaining that even though there are tickets on their site for £1500.00 they never actually sell any at that price (!)


What was noticeable for me though this weekend was an article on NME highlighting these practices.

Can you spot the irony here?

Just in case they take this down – which I’d be surprised if they didn’t – this is an article about how these secondary companies are selling Kate Bush tickets at extortionate prices with a little button next to the headline that enables the reader to be taken to the NME tickets page where you’ll see Viagogo links. (The comments at the bottom are fab but I can’t add mine as for some reason I’m unable to log onto the NME site anymore).

Are NME reporting this or advertising this? Are the NME now ready to openly debate this practice that many of us find unsavoury?

We could certainly do with a publication such as the NME being on the side as us music loving hoards, people who are prepared to sit hitting the refresh button to fill out venues across the country and who are all up in arms about this nonsense.

Or is it all left to us again, the keen music loving fans that do this out of passion for the musical output in this country to ask if publications can stop advertising these companies on their web sites and thus making themselves part of the problem?

Come on NME we can all fight this together, it’s not too late to join in, however if people such as MP Sharon Hodgson and the rest of us who are working hard to stamp this out get their way then your own silence on this will be duly noted and at least one of your customers with an extra couple of quid in his pocket each week at the moment may never return. If you think selling tickets at extortionate prices is a bit like the ticket touts that hang around outside venues (i.e. is not a good thing) then help us out here and please stop taking advertising from these organisations and therefore condoning this practise and giving us the impression that you think this is OK.

It’s not.

It sucks.

How many more times do we have to keep moaning about this?

All words by Keith Goldhanger. More work by Keith on Louder Than War can be found here. He’s also on SoundCloud here, Facebook here and tweets as @HideousWheeelInv.

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Keith Goldhanger -- Spent the '90s as a frontman with London noise merchants HEADBUTT - spent the '80s in 'Peel favourites' BASTARD KESTREL. Spent a few years mashing up tunes and remixing bands as HIDEOUS WHEEL INVENTION. Is often out and about getting in the way of things and bumping his head on low ceilings - Will give your band the time of day but will dislike any band that balances full pints of alcohol on the top of guitar amps (Not keen on lead singers that wear hats either).


  1. well said fols

    the NME is a joke these days, like most music mags it doesn’t have any real news to report so instead resorts to the 50 greatest this, or 100 best that.

    on this particulat subject you’d think with all it’s let leaning right on tendancies it tries to promote you’d think it’s be on the side of the little man (or woman, equality and all that, just like the NME)

    sadly we live in a society that on the one hand is happy to be force fed absolute garbage on the radio, whilst at the same time these gigs come along that we all have to be at and some people are stupid enough to pay these extortionate prices, if we all boycotted these sites things would quickly change.

    i would hate for Kate Bush or any other artist to play to a barely 10% full venue but until that happens i suspect little will change, but well done for bringing this to peoples attention

  2. one of the fundamental problems and the huge elephant in the room, is the fact that a great many “name” artists *allegedly* hold back a % of ticket allocations per venue and along with the promoters actually supply secondary ticketing agencies direct…. food for thought…

  3. Who receives the benefits of these overinflated ticket prices? I imagine its not the artists. All the genuine ticket providers out there need to look closely at your polices, take a moal stance against rogue traders who in my mind seem to be acting like rogue polititions..ardentley in it for there own gains. Because of there somewhat fraudulent actions, the trusted side of the people providers are no longer trusted either..unless you are already going fown the slippery slope of scamming the public at any cost! Are you?

  4. I’ve been fighting against the money-grabbing bastards that are Viagogo and Seatwave for years now, and more recently Stubhub who seem to occasionally join in with a few extortionate ticket prices.
    The documentary about these rip-off giants is still on You Tube (link below) and needs to be seen to be believed, to gather an insight into how these vile merchants operate.

    In February when Prince played his two dates in Manchester, there were approx 2,000 tickets available for each night – about 4,000 in total. Understandably those tickets sold out within minutes, online.
    Minutes after, both Viagogo and Seatwave had already put their tickets for the gigs on sale too, with some prices advertised at £1,000 a ticket.
    I scoured their websites to try and find out exactly how many tickets they [Seatwave & Viagogo] had managed to secure for resale. I counted a staggering 695 tickets up for sale.
    I was fortunate enough to buy tickets at the asking price but I spoke with many people at the gig who were forced to buy from the aforementioned.
    This shit really needs to stop now.
    Viagogo docu link……

  5. So, why are these resale and touting websites being allowed to get away with reselling the Kate Bush tickets? Why have the promoters not contacted these companies and told them to take them down from sale? After all there was much made of the point that the terms on these tickets mean that they cannot be resold. Do the promoters and the Artists simply not care or are they powerless to do anything about it? Will they really be turning away hundreds or thousands of fans who turn up without an original photo ID?

    • Well if you watch the documentary you’ll see that it is the promoters themselves who allocate tickets to sites such as Viagogo. In return 90% of the resale value is returned to them!


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