Kylie Takes A Pop At Touts

The Concert Promoters’ Association might consider taking Kylie Minogue along to the next “tout summit” meeting with Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell and letting the diminutive Aussie explain exactly how she feels about people making huge profits selling her tickets on eBay.

She’s already brought the secondary market to the attention of a wider public by having a couple of stories in The Sun explaining her insistence for promoters and authorised ticketing agents to cancel any seats offered on the auction site.

Nick Blackburn of See Tickets, whose company also attends the occasional meetings with Jowell’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport, told BBC Radio Five listeners most companies have the technology to track down who’s offering the tickets on eBay and cancel them.

The secondary sellers, like the ones asking five times face value for Kylie’s six sold-out Wembley Arena shows, are then sent a letter explaining their order has been canceled because they tried to resell the seats to a third party “without the express written permission from the promoters of the event.”

The first two 12,000-capacity shows sold out in six minutes. The four added dates went within a couple of hours.

NME reported the move as “a major victory” for its own “Stamp Out The Touts” campaign, which has also seen the likes of Kaiser Chiefs, Bloc Party, and Keane hitting out at those selling tickets for hugely inflated prices.

Peter Tudor, GM for Wembley Arena and a former head of the National Arenas’ Association, said he applauds any effort to make life harder for touts, but appreciates that the promoters (3A in this case) and ticket agencies’ task is made more arduous because sellers on eBay aren’t required to list the block, row or seat numbers.

The auction site says that, given those details – the promoters would immediately cancel the tickets. The promoters appear determined to cancel as many as they can without eBay’s help, however arduous the task becomes.

It’s one of the main sticking points between the primary and secondary ticket sellers, and will need to be resolved if the two sides are going to come up with the self-regulating industry charter that Jowell wants to see next summer.

– John Gammon