Harry Potter cracks down on scalpers

Producers of Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at London's Palace Theatre are refusing entry to holders of resold tickets.
Producers of Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at London's Palace Theatre are refusing entry to holders of resold tickets.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Tickets for the stage play Harry Potter And The Cursed Child are in such high demand that asking prices are reaching thousands of pounds, but producers are warning buyers to beware.

Holders of about 60 tickets bought from touts or through resale websites have been refused entry because the producers are barring resold tickets. The eighth story in the Harry Potter franchise is sold out through December next year at London's Palace Theatre.

A single ticket was listed recently for £6,200 (S$10,700) on a resale website. Producers say they are doing their utmost to combat high prices on the secondary market and that tickets resold online, through newspapers or through resale websites will be void.

"From the outset, accessible pricing has been of paramount importance to us. We have already been able to identify and refuse entry to a significant number of people who purchased tickets through resale sites and will continue to track down touts and refuse entry to anyone who has knowingly bought a ticket from a tout through the secondary market," the play's producers said in a statement.

"Staff at the Palace Theatre refuse entry for tickets that they are able to identify as resold."

Harry Potter fans do not like the sky-high prices, but some can see why people are willing to pay them.

"I've never seen a play like this, so I can understand why people would pay that kind of money. I don't necessarily agree with it, but it's been out of this world, absolutely," one fan told reporters.

"Wimbledon centre court tickets were cheaper than Harry Potter," commented one man, referring to the annual tennis championship in England.

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child is set 19 years after the events of the last book, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, and it is a marathon affair, running over five hours and in two parts.

This month, a new batch of 250,000 tickets for performances through December next year sold out in a day.

However, there is an online lottery every Friday, in which 40 tickets are released for the following week.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2016, with the headline 'Harry Potter cracks down on scalpers'. Print Edition | Subscribe