Ripped-off Ed Sheeran fans locked out of gig

Music 28/05/2018

Thousands of Ed Sheeran fans who bought tickets through reseller sites like Viagogo have been turned away from his latest shows in Manchester.

The 'Shape of You' singer says it's to stop fans getting scammed, and told them to go back to the seller to get refunds -but it's left many furious.

"I paid £400 for two tickets," Samantha Dutton told BBC News. "Now I've got to pay £150 to go and see him… If you haven't got a spare £150 to pay for your tickets again, then you can't get in."

"To come all the way here to be pulled aside and be told your ticket's not valid, it's not good," said Millie Nicholson.

Reseller sites like Viagogo and StubHub sell tickets at well-above their face value, taking advantage of the high demand. Originally sold for £80 (NZ$154), some tickets were reportedly going for up to £4000 (NZ$7700).

Sheeran said before tickets to his latest tour went on sale, that any bought through resellers would not be valid. More than 10,000 tickets for his 18-date tour have reportedly been cancelled.

"It's all being done properly I'm not trying to stitch fans up," he told BBC News.

"People just need to start taking a stance and within two or three years companies like Viagogo are going to be kaput."

His manager Stuart Galbraith said they'd help any fans struggling to get refunds from Viagogo.

Viagogo said it was "highly unfair" to lock fans out just because they paid more than face-value for their tickets.

Here in New Zealand, the Commerce Commission is investigating Viagogo after receiving more than 60 complaints about extreme mark-ups and fake tickets.