Kilimanjaro Live Looking Forward To Meeting Viagogo In Court

Ed Sheeran sold millions of tickets this year alone
Matt Jelonek/WireImage
– Ed Sheeran sold millions of tickets this year alone
Now Viagogo wants to take the artist

Viagogo says it’s suing Kilimanjaro Live and CEO Stuart Galbraith in Germany over the promoter’s ticketing policy during Ed Sheeran’s 2017 Europe tour. Kilimanjaro has responded.
The tour made headlines after fans, who had bought tickets via Viagogo, got turned down at the door. Their tickets were declared invalid and they were forced to buy a new ticket for £150 ($193).
Viagogo guarantees its customers a refund, should they be refused entry to a concert, an option the denied concertgoers were encouraged to take by Kilimanjaro.
More than 10,000 Ed Sheeran tickets were reportedly cancelled that way.
Kilimanjaro Live had made fans aware of this policy in its terms and conditions, which the promoter implemented to make sure people weren’t overcharged for Ed Sheeran tickets.
One reason Viagogo does not feel bound by  terms and conditions, is that it considers all tickets to be commodities, which should be traded freely.
Viagogo maintains that all tickets sold on its platform are authentic, and accused Galbraith of duping Ed Sheeran fans “by confiscating thousands of genuine tickets at the gate, forcing fans to buy new tickets, and pocketing millions of pounds in duplicate sales.”
The company claims that Kilimanjaro set up “fake Viagogo customer services booths at venues, luring fans into declaring that they were Viagogo customers. The promoter then confiscated their authentic tickets and forced fans to buy new ones.”
While this makes it sound like Kilimanjaro operated Viagogo branded service points in front of venues, the promoter really just displayed signs outside the venue saying “Viagogo Customer Enquiries.”
So, in Kilimanjaro Live’s argumentation, Viagogo was defrauding customers, by selling overpriced tickets despite the promoter’s and Ed Sheeran’s clear stance against ticket resale above face value. Viagogo argues that the defrauding occurred when Kilimanjaro declared tickets bought through Viagogo invalid.
Some working in the industry believe the timing of the lawsuit was picked strategically ahead of tomorrow’s committee session on secondary ticketing in the UK Parliament, where Stuart Galbraith is scheduled to speak out against the practice.
Viagogo notoriously stayed absent from such a hearing last year.
Others question the fact that Viagogo launched the court proceedings in Germany, where Kilimanjaro does not operate.
Viagogo claims, Galbraith previously “falsely stated in the press that he would cancel any tickets listed on Viagogo. This is impossible, as he was not able to identify and cancel tickets on the Viagogo platform.”
It also claims that Galbraith used Viagogo regularly and until recently to sell “thousands of tickets to [Stuart Galbraith’s] artists’ events,” referring to Ed Sheeran manager Stuart Camp’s recent admission that tickets for the artist’s 2015 tour were first sold through a seller on Viagogo, who seemed legit – a practice that stopped once Camp had found out that it was a bad practice.
Viagogo claims there was a time when Galbraith requested preferred terms for his own artists on Viagogo, and that he then threathened the platform “that he would use his artists, such as Ed Sheeran and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, to put pressure on Viagogo even if it meant causing huge inconvenience to his artist’s fans.
“We have Stuart on record saying that his artists would ‘do whatever he told them to do’ and that he would go to any lengths to cause chaos for Viagogo customers. We can’t believe that Ed Sheeran would knowingly permit his promoter to lie and steal and we can only imagine that Galbraith has been acting fraudulently without his artist’s knowledge,” a Viagogo rep said.
Viagogo intends to bring “a comprehensive file of incontrovertible photographic and filmed evidence” to court.
Kilimanjaro Live responded, “the claims made today by Viagogo are ludicrous, laughable and most importantly totally false. This is a transparent attempt to deflect attention away from their upcoming appearance at the DCMS inquiry and the wide-ranging criticisms, multiple legal prosecutions in many territories (including by the Competitions and Markets Authority in the UK) and condemnation of their business practices. Kilimanjaro will defend against this action vigorously and look forward to doing so in court.”
Kilimanjaro’s parent company DEAG said it has taken the side of Kilimanjaro, and wonders why the suit was brought to a German court. “Neither Kilimanjaro nor DEAG are in a business or contractual relationship with Viagogo Germany. Kilimanjaro did not promote or was otherwise involved in the Ed Sheeran concerts 2018 in Germany,” the statement translates.
DEAG announced that it would consider a countersuit should Viagogo go through with its suit, and added that false accusations would definitely entail claims for compensation.