Republic Goes Viagogo

Festival Republic chief Melvin Benn has tried to further reduce the chance of touts getting their hands on tickets for the company’s Reading, Leeds, and Latitude festivals by naming viagogo official secondary ticketing partner.

The company started by StubHub founder Eric Baker, which raised eyebrows in the U.K. media after touting Michael Jackson tickets for promoter AEG, has signed similar deals with Madonna for her Sticky & Sweet tours.

However, this is the first time a major music festival promoter has signed a partnership of this kind.

“There were some disastrous ticketing issues last year leaving many fans disappointed after ‘buying’ non-existent resale tickets,” Benn explained. “A number of rogue ticketing Web sites sprung up offering fans tickets to our festivals that they did not possess. We have therefore agreed to work with viagogo as the recommended and only official ticket exchange.

“If fans use other ticket exchanges or buy from unauthorized agents they risk being defrauded and not getting their festival tickets,” he said.

Since 2006, viagogo has provided the official ticket resale service for top sports teams such as Manchester United and Chelsea FC. Both soccer clubs’ ticket exchanges allow season ticket holders to sell their spare tickets to other fans in a safe and secure environment.

Baker said viagogo is honoured to be working with what are considered to be among the world’s premier music festivals.