U2 tickets on resale sites for over €1,000

Tickets for U2’s Joshua Tree 30th anniversary concert in Croke Park next July are appearing on resale websites at prices of more than €1,000 each, prompting fresh calls for anti-touting legislation.

U2 fans queuing at the Ticketmaster outlet in Merchant's Quay, Cork. Picture: Larry Cummins

Ticketmaster sold its allocation for the concert within two hours yesterday, yet tickets appeared on Seatwave — a Ticketmaster company that allows buyers to resell their tickets and decide the price — for between €330 and €1,020 by lunchtime.

The tickets were sold by Ticketmaster at face value prices of between €39 and €186.

However, two tickets on Seatwave yesterday were on sale for €1,019.34 each for seats in the lower tier of Croke Park’s Davin Stand. The pair of tickets, along with Seatwave’s €306.64 booking fee, would cost a potential buyer €2,345.32 in total.

Ticketmaster had stated that tickets in the Davin Stand lower tier were €76 each.

In response to the high resale prices quoted, Fine Gael Dublin North West TD Noel Rock said he was hopeful that an anti-touting bill he has previously proposed would be debated soon.

“In effect, I’m proposing for an end to above face value ticket reselling,” Mr Rock told the Irish Examiner.

“Most sporting organisations explicitly favour this already. It’s quite clear that this is happening in a far more frequent and formalised way than ever before, and the public are rightly annoyed by it.

“In Belgium, anti-touting laws were enacted and — following that — the Ticketmaster-owned reselling site Seatwave closed down. We can and should replicate that here.”

Independent Wicklow and East Carlow TD Stephen Donnelly also tweeted that he wants to look at potential anti-tout legislation.

A spokesperson for Ticketmaster would not comment on such proposed legislation.

“U2’s The Joshua Tree tour has been exceptionally popular,” said the spokesperson. “With artists of this stature, demand often far outstrips the supply of tickets. Ticketmaster is committed to the overall ticket buying process to ensure artists get tickets into the hands of fans and never places tickets on secondary market sites.”

With or without U2 as gig sells out

Joyce Fegan and Joe Leogue

U2 fan Martin Shanahan with his tickets. Picture: Kinlan Photography

A second U2 concert will not be added after tickets to its July 22 gig in Croke Park were snapped up.

Furthermore, no more tickets for the July date will be released.

“All the tickets have been sold and there will be no more on sale, there is only one date,” a spokesperson for the band told the Irish Examiner.

With a capacity of 78,000 fans, the Croke Park concert, which marks the 30th anniversary of U2’s album The Joshua Tree, sold out shortly after tickets went on sale yesterday morning.

Reports suggested that the concert sold out in under six minutes, however, the spokesperson for the band waited until after 11am to announce the news. Tickets officially went on sale at 9am.

Fans who were left disappointed hoped that either more tickets or another date would be announced at Croke Park, however, the band’s spokesperson quelled such rumours.

Croke Park has permission to host three outdoor concerts per year. So far two of those have been filled, one by U2 and the other by Coldplay. A third concert has yet to be announced.

Disappointed fans then started an online petition to bring the band to Cork’s revamped Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium.

“We, the undersigned, petition U2 to play Cork City, Ireland. As Bono said in 1987 the first time he felt he was in a band was in Cork City. U2 have a long heritage of playing in Cork dating back to the late 1970s in the Arcadia Ballroom.

“In anticipation of this concert we built a motorway from Dublin to Cork, the Jack Lynch tunnel and rebuilt the Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium,” read a statement on the site.

However, of those fans who did manage to get tickets for the July gig, it seems queuing in person paid off.

Vincent Kearns was one such fan who bought tickets in person. Queuing since Friday afternoon, he was the first to purchase his tickets yesterday morning.

“I feel like the child in Willie Wonka who got the golden ticket. I’ve seen them 72 times,” he said.

Second in line was Dave Griffiths, who has seen the band play 30 times and saw them perform in Croke Park on the original The Joshua Tree tour in 1987.

“It was so worth queueing since 11am on Saturday morning,” he said.

Unhappy fans, on the other hand, took to social media to vent their rage at some websites which were selling tickets above face value.

Meanwhile, hotel beds are now at a premium for the July date, with one night’s accommodation now costing more than €1,000 in a city centre establishment.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

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