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Over 10,000 “unscrupulous applications” for free One Love Manchester tickets

By | Published on Friday 2 June 2017

Even Viagogo has pledged to stop people from trying to tout tickets to this weekend’s One Love Manchester show, the Ariana Grande concert that will raise money to support those directly affected by the bomb attack on the Manchester Arena last month. Though ticket touting is still causing a few headaches for organisers of the benefit concert.

All four of the big UK ticket resale sites – Live Nation’s Seatwave and Get Me In, eBay’s StubHub and the often non-compliant Viagogo – have pledged to stop people from seeking to profit from the benefit event, which will also be broadcast on TV and radio.

With those pledges made, some touts resorted to trying to resell tickets to the concert – primary tickets for which sold in just minutes – via eBay itself, though the web company has pledged to remove those posts as well.

A spokesperson for eBay said: “All tickets for the One Love Manchester event will most certainly be removed by the team who are doing manual sweeps to pick up any that slip through. We also aren’t allowing the sale of any item which profits in any way from the tragedy in Manchester. All of these items are being removed if they appear, and the sellers’ accounts will be restricted”.

But secondary ticketing is still causing some issues for organisers of One Love Manchester because of the commitment to offer free tickets to anyone who attended the Ariana Grande show where the bombing took place on 22 May. 14,200 people were at the 22 May concert, but over 25,000 people have applied for the free tickets to this weekend’s show.

Ticketmaster, which is handling ticketing for Sunday’s event, told reporters that “sadly, over 10,000 unscrupulous applications have been made”, adding that it was “doing everything we can to ensure that tickets go to the actual fans and not the opportunists or touts who have also been applying for free tickets”.

Part of the process designed to ensure that the free tickets go to the right people involves ticket holders to the original concert providing information about their original ticket purchases. Though those who bought their tickets to the 22 May show via a reseller on one of the secondary ticketing platforms may not have that information.

One such attendee to the original Grande show – who took her two daughters to the concert – told The Guardian: “My tickets were originally bought by a travel company specialising in music event travels. I then paid £100 for a £45 ticket on Viagogo. These companies [who originally purchased the tickets] can claim these [free] tickets they are not entitled to, and resell them all over again”.

Though Ticketmaster says it is doing everything it can to ensure that the free tickets for One Love Manchester go to the right people, including attempting to verify tickets for the 22 May show that were bought by fans on the secondary market.

Acts now set to join Grande during One Love Manchester include Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams, Take That, Niall Horan, Little Mix, Robbie Williams and Black Eyed Peas. BBC One’s coverage will air from 6.55pm to 10pm, while BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Manchester will all broadcast the event from 6.30pm-10pm.