Ed Sheeran has been criticised by some of his fans over his and his promotion company’s efforts to stomp out ticket touts on his recent ‘Divide’ tour.
The singer and his promotion company Kilimanjaro Live attempted to take on ticket touts throughout the ‘Divide’ tour after tickets to Sheeran’s 2018 shows were reportedly being listed on resale sites for almost 10 times their original value.
Fans who bought tickets to the ‘Divide’ tour but then found that they weren’t able to attend were directed by the artist and Kilimanjaro Live to authorised fan-to-fan resales sites in the hope of cutting out touts who sought to make a profit. Prices on these sites were firmly fixed for each ticket at face value plus a 10% “resale fee”.
However, a number of Sheeran fans reported that they were unable to shift their spare tickets on these sites as seats for each show were often still available to buy at face value until the day of the gig — meaning that last-minute buyers often went down the traditional route of buying those tickets rather than using the authorised fan-to-fan resale sites.
As a result, those looking to sell on their spare Sheeran tickets were often left out of pocket.
Speaking to The Guardian, Sheeran fan George Fox explained that he lost £340 from failing to sell on four tickets to the singer’s recent gig in Leeds after the show clashed with a holiday.
“It [price restrictions] meant I was unable to sell the tickets or recoup any money with the price being locked,” Fox explained. “Because why would anybody buy tickets for face value plus 10% when face value tickets exist?
“That meant Ed’s team selling more [of their own tickets] as nobody could buy off anybody else who couldn’t go. Thousands went to waste, to their advantage, whether intentional or not.”
There were other complaints about the resale scheme on Twitter, with one fan claiming this week that they lost £247 due to the fixed price + 10% fee scheme on the Sheeran-approved resale sites.
@TicketmasterCS so disappointed with ticket systems meaning £250 down as unfortunately can no longer attend @edsheeran 🙁 sadly last time I’ll be buying tickets for his shows if my friends can’t now therefore attend either and resale process is a flawed mess!
— Lucy Morrison (@lucyjmorrison18) August 16, 2019
@ticketmasteruk what is going on with reselling of #edsheeran tickets? We genuinely cant go and have listed tickets through your official resale channel at £50 (£30 less than face) but only full price options availalbe to buy?
— Ben Hughes (@benhughes08) August 13, 2019
@TicketmasterCS what the ACTUAL fuck is happening with ed sheeran in chantry park??? like what the actual fuck??? first u say oh we only list a few general resale at once and now ur adding GA tickets on normal sale again
— bekah (@treehcuseonfire) August 19, 2019
@seetickets Why have all the resale tickets, been taken off the website, for EdSheeran on Friday a few minutes ago there were lots available for resale, now showing 'No Tickets available' and I know mine have not sold
— Adrian Baldry (@adibaldry) August 20, 2019
Addressing the complaints, Kilimanjaro Live told The Guardian that they had “tried to find a way to be fair” to fans by implementing the scheme.
“From the outset we have tried to find a way to be fair to fans, in order to facilitate the ethical resale of tickets and to leave as many fans as happy as possible whilst preventing the daily horror stories of them being ripped off by ticket touts profiting from the panic to get a ticket to see Ed,” a spokesperson said. “We have undoubtedly had a huge impact here.
“Whilst we understand the frustration of someone who is unable to resell and wants to drop the price accordingly to give themselves a better chance of recouping some of their money, unfortunately this throws up more questions than answers.”
Following the conclusion of the ‘Divide’ tour, Sheeran is now set to take an 18-month break from performing.