Ticket Reseller Viagogo Has Provided A Typically Crap Response To The Latest Backlash
Last week, Gang Of Youths called Viagogo "one of the most disgraceful and disruptive scams our live industry has faced in recent years".
Viagogo is widely considered in the Australian music industry as being one of the dodgiest ticket resellers on the market, and in the past week, a slew of prominent figures within the industry have said they’ve had enough.
A call to action has been put in place to get Viagogo shut down for good, as spearheaded by Sydney expatriates Gang of Youths and their manager, Mirror Music Group’s Kurt Bailey.
In a post to Facebook last week, the band noted that “Viagogo has become one of the most disgraceful and disruptive scams our live industry has faced in recent years. Viagogo impacts promoters, managers, venues, ticket agencies and most importantly artists and their fans.”
On Friday, a mix of artists and industry professionals gathered together to launch the campaign in conjunction with the Labor Opposition, with the likes of Labor leader Bill Shorten and senior MP Tony Burke joining Gang of Youths, Briggs, Diesel and Charlie Collins at Sydney’s Oxford Art Factory.
The campaign has been supported by 2018’s ARIAs queen Amy Shark, who took to Twitter to note that scalpers are already selling tickets to her shows in May for a ridiculous $600. Tash Sultana and the organisers of Laneway Festival have also voiced solidarity in the last week. You can read all of their posts below:
As many of you have encountered through your businesses (and I'm sure personally through friends and family), Viagogo…
Artists like @gangofyouths and @TASHSULTANAA have said it already, but don’t take the risk of buying tickets from companies like Viagogo. They’re selling tickets to my tour for $600 and there’s no guarantee they’re real. It hurts you and it hurts the artists you’re going to see
— Amy Shark (@AmySharkMusic) November 30, 2018
Viagogo are a piece of shit company that sell my tickets for over 3 times the actual price to my fans. It’s not just me…
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We know many of our fans have had negative experiences with buying festival & gig tickets through viagogo. We do our best to warn people about the dangers of buying over-priced and often fraudulent tickets from third party sites like this, but now we have a chance to make a real difference – an opportunity to eradicate this business from Australia for good! We're calling on you to help get this message out there far and wide, and share details of any experiences you've had with viagogo by emailing [email protected] by Wednesday this week. We intend to give this documentation to the Opposition Party to form part of their campaign pledge to have this site closed down. #viagogo
In the wake of all this, Viagogo themselves have given a statement to Music Feeds, which unfortunately sounds more or less like an automatic reply email in its tone.
“Viagogo provides a platform for third party sellers to sell tickets to event goers,” the statement reads. “Viagogo does not set ticket prices, sellers set their own prices, which may be above or below the original face value. The tickets sold on Viagogo’s platform are genuine tickets that have been sold on by the original ticket purchaser in good faith.”
They then even have the audacity to tell punters who have problems with their tickets to contact them directly, despite the fact many punters online cite difficulties in contacting them.
Regarding their tickets being described as illegitimate and leaving buyers denied at entry, Viagogo deems the move “highly unfair and in our view, unenforceable and illegal.”
“Viagogo customers should feel confident that they will gain entry to the event, and that is why we back every ticket with the Viagogo guarantee.”
Of course, “the Viagogo guarantee” holds about as much promise as Con the Fruiterer saying the fruit will be bewdiful in a coupla days, so kudos to Viagogo for more or less putting themselves right back at square one. You can read the full statement on Music Feeds.
We’ll have more news as the Opposition takes its campaign into Parliament, but in the meantime take a look at this video from ABC’s dearly-departed consumer watchdog series The Checkout. It will explain everything you need to know about Viagogo.