Political pressure mounts for Ireland to get tough on ticket touts

U2 fans saw red this morning as tickets for their sold out Dublin gig instantly appeared on 'secondary' ticket sites with huge asking prices...

Political pressure mounts for Ireland to get tough on ticket touts

Niall Carson PA Archive / PA Images

Fine Gael T.D. for Dublin North West, Noel Rock has called for the fast-tracking of legislation banning the sale of tickets at inflated prices.

"I have been inundated with people contacting me regarding examples of ticket touting following the sale of U2 concert tickets this morning. This will be one of the biggest concerts of the year and consumers are now being asked to pay a large figure, well over face value, to attend. It’s just not fair on true fans who couldn’t obtain a ticket this morning. The Government now has to act swiftly to outlaw the reselling of tickets over face value," he said after the instant sellout.

Tickets to see the foursome are listed on Seatwave, Ticketmaster's resale marketplace, for as much as €1,313.

Similarly hefty prices are seen on other resell sites - although some sellers may have overestimated demand for tickets, as some users have slashed their asking prices.


"I’ve been calling for this matter to be resolved for a number of months and we have yet to see true progress on the matter. As I’ve stated previously, this needs to be enacted before our hosting duties for Euro 2020. We shouldn’t have to wait another two or so years to enact this, we should be protecting consumers now," Mr Rock said.

"I was disturbed to hear reports that tickets for this highly anticipated concert were on resale sites, such as Seatwave, from Friday - before they were even on sale on Ticketmaster. This is highly inappropriate and we need to clamp down on this matter immediately," the TD added.

TD for Wicklow & East Carlow Stephen Donnelly has also issued an open call for collaborators to draft proposals to tackle the issue.

U2 introduced its own anti-tout measures for their last Dublin appearance in Dublin's 3Arena - linking tickets to buyer's IDs and payment cards.

Radiohead introduced similar measures for their up coming Dublin show - that hasn't stopped them appearing on 'resale' sites at massively inflated prices.

Live Nation is pushing 'paperless tickets' - which require the card holder who bought a ticket to produce, or in some cases swipe, the card that they used to purchase their ticket as a way of stopping touts.

Modern touting can be high-tech business, as 'bot' programmes try to beat ticket site's safeguards to snap-up tickets.

Tickets.ie, Ireland’s largest independent ticketing company, recently created 20 new jobs to develop new ticketing technologies - including programmes to tackle the problem of these bots hoovering-up tickets for resale.

Disappointed U2 fans will be hoping for a second Dublin date, or a return to Páirc Uí Chaoimh. The European leg of the original 1987 Joshua Tree tour ended in the Cork stadium following a Croke Park date.