Coldplay asked to keep ticket prices low

British band Coldplay are aware of touts trying to profit from the resale of tickets to their upcoming National Stadium show on April 1.

Live Nation Lushington managing director Michael Roche says: "Even the band saw what happened and said, 'Michael, we have to do something.'"

The organiser has taken steps to void some of the tickets resold online at inflated prices. It is the first time Live Nation Lushington has ever had to do that for its concerts here, although Mr Roche, who is also the executive director of the Singapore Grand Prix, had taken similar steps against scalpers for the Formula One races.

He declines to provide details of how his company went about tracing and voiding the tickets.

In 2012, the organiser of K-pop concert SMTown Singapore, Running Into The Sun, listed the names of four ticket-holders who tried to resell 34 tickets at a profit on its website. The tickets were invalidated and those trying to enter with them were barred from the show.

In Ontario, scalping tickets was formerly illegal, but was made legal by the government last year as long as the tickets were authentic. In the United States, there is no federal law banning scalping, but some states have made it illegal.

Tickets to Coldplay's upcoming show, their fourth here, were released in three batches from last Thursday to Monday, and all were sold out quickly. It is estimated that 40,000 tickets have been sold so far.

The organiser is planning to release additional tickets once it finalises layout and logistic issues by tomorrow.

The rush for Coldplay tickets has resulted in many disappointed fans who could not get tickets and are venting their anger at Live Nation Lushington and ticketing agency Sports Hub Tix online.

While some ticket-buyers complained that the ticketing agency website crashed on them, a Sports Hub Tix spokesman says: "The Sports Hub Tix system was able to manage the surge of buyers, but could not open up inventory to those waiting in the system as tickets were either being transacted or held pending payment clearance."

The spokesman also says the demand for the third batch of Coldplay tickets released on Monday was the highest for a National Stadium concert to date. Almost 20,000 users were trying to get tickets online at any one time, in addition to hundreds of walk-in patrons who had queued, some overnight, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium main box office and SingPost outlets.

"Within 10 minutes of the public sale, all ticket inventory had either been snapped up or held in the online shopping carts while customers completed their payment transactions. At the peak, thousands of tickets were being transacted each minute. With this level of demand and a limited number of tickets, some people were not able to complete the sales process and secure tickets. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused."

Live Nation Lushington and Coldplay's management are also aware of the high demand that has resulted in an online petition to add a second show in Singapore.

Mr Roche says: "It's the start of the tour, so it's difficult to make a decision that quickly. We're looking at everything, so let's just see what comes up in the next two days."

According to him, Coldplay had also asked that the organiser keep the ticket prices low. The tickets were eventually priced from $78 to $298. "Our ticket prices were originally a little bit higher and they said no, move that price. They really care," says Mr Roche.

He is also aware of a recent BBC report where the honcho of Live Nation Italy, Mr Roberto De Luca, had admitted to selling a small number of tickets to online ticket resale website Viagogo. But he stresses that Live Nation Lushington does not engage in such practices.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2016, with the headline 'Coldplay asked to keep ticket prices low'. Print Edition | Subscribe