Ontario attorney general may investigate sales of Tragically Hip tickets

The Tragically Hip perform at Caesars Windsor in Windsor, Ont. on July 5, 2012. Gene Schilling/The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Ontario’s attorney general says she’s prepared to try and find out why so many Tragically Hip fans couldn’t buy tickets for their summer concerts – unless they wanted to pay many times face value on resale sites.

Fans across the country complained the tickets were sold out almost instantly when they went on presale Monday.

Many rushed to social media to complain about exorbitant prices on secondary resale sites that climbed into the thousands of dollars.

READ MORE: Why it’s so hard to get Tragically Hip tickets

The Tragically Hip announced last week that lead singer Gord Downie has terminal brain cancer and would embark on a brief summer tour in parts of Canada.

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Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur says she sympathizes with fans who would have to pay such tremendous prices to see the band.

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She says the ministry needs to look at what is happening now with the resale prices and insists she wants to fix the situation.

Meilleur denies the province is to blame for scrapping a law that prevented primary sellers like Ticketmaster from owning resale sites like StubHub, which is owned by eBay.

“The intent was to prevent this from happening,” Meilleur told reporters.

“And I’m very sorry for the (fans) of this group that they have to pay a great price to go to the concert.”

While the public sale of Tragically Hip tickets doesn’t begin until Friday, eager buyers already snapped up limited tickets offered during pre-sale events Monday and Tuesday, but far more fans were left disappointed.

Some questioned how the tickets – which required buyers to enter a code to complete their purchase – could turn up for resale within minutes. Others lamented that concerts which were raising money for charity were being exploited by scalpers.

The Hip will play 15 shows across parts of the country during a month-long stretch from late July to August.

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