Vancouver Tragically Hip fans vent frustration after presale tickets are snapped up
Many Tragically Hip fans are fully, completely frustrated after tickets to the group’s Vancouver concerts were instantly snapped up during a presale and then popped up on secondary markets for exorbitant prices.
Tickets were being pre-sold to members of the Hip’s fan club on Monday and Tuesday, ahead of what will likely be their last tour ever, given lead singer Gord Downie’s recent cancer diagnosis. But tickets sold out just minutes after they were made available.
Following Tuesday’s Vancouver presale, many rushed to social media to complain about prices on secondary sites that climbed into the thousands of dollars.
“With this particular tour the emotion and the sentimentality that is attached to it has underscored this problem more than ever,” radio host Alan Cross said.
Ticket promoter Kingsley Bailey says the Tragically Hip presale highlights a lack of transparency in the industry.
“It’s not the ticket brokers. It’s not the ticket bots. It’s the initial sale of the tickets,” Bailey said. “We need transparency to see how many tickets are really going to the general public. Then we can really be able to make a conscious decision and say, hey, am I happy with the system or do we need legislation to fix it?”
Ontario Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur said she’s prepared to try and find out why so many Tragically Hip fans couldn’t buy tickets for their summer concerts.
In a statement, B.C.’s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Morris said:
“I recognize this is a very frustrating situation for dedicated and loyal Tragically Hip fans. Unfortunately anti-scalping laws are very difficult to enforce because most sales transactions are done on the Internet, sometimes across national borders, and customers choose to purchase re-sale tickets despite the cost. Due to this Alberta actually repealed provisions in their legislation restricting ticket resales in 2009. Ticket reselling is now legal in Alberta.”
– With files from Rumina Daya, Leslie Young and The Canadian Press
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