A Kilkenny record store threatened to refuse the sale of Ed Sheeran tickets if there was a repeat of the antisocial scenes witnessed outside its premises the last time a queue formed for the singer-songwriter.
Tickets for Sheeran’s 2018 European tour went on sale this morning, with the shows in Cork, Belfast, Galway, and Dublin sparking overnight queues of eager fans at Ticketmaster outlets across the country.
Rollercoaster Records in Kilkenny warned customers it was effectively banning any queue prior to 6pm last night, and said it would pull its tickets from sale if the “disgraceful scenes” visited upon the store last time it sold Ed Sheeran tickets were to happen again.
“Due to the disgraceful behaviour by some individuals, the disruption to surrounding businesses, and the disgusting state that Kieran St was left in after the queue for the last Ed Sheeran concerts, we are not allowing any queue to form until after 6pm on Friday, July 7,” a sign in the store’s window read.
“If anyone attempts to start a queue before this time or there are any reports of antisocial behaviour between 6pm on Friday and 9am on Saturday, we will refuse to sell any tickets and everyone can try their luck online.”
Dave Holland of Rollercoaster Records told the Irish Examiner that the street outside the store “looked like the end of Woodstock” after the last queue for Ed Sheeran tickets, and alleged that some drunken people in the queue assaulted passers-by.
“The street was left in an awful state,” he said.
“There were two tents, eight deckchairs, and 18 to 20 umbrellas all left behind, along with more cans than you’d see in an off-licence and more pizzas than they had in The Sopranos.”
Mr Holland said the rubbish left behind required a council truck to come to the store to clean the street.
“We have no problem with people queuing for tickets as long as they are well behaved, but we had to take a stand on this,” he said.
Promoter Peter Aiken yesterday said the demand for tickets was ‘unprecedented’.
“People have been queuing for concerts for years, but this is unprecedented, the numbers we have at the moment,” he told RTÉ’s News at One.
“I was in Cork at Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (on Thursday night) and I drove past the outlet and there were at least 100 people queuing outside, I think that’s grown. In Galway there are people queuing, in Ballinasloe, that’s how big this act is.”
Mr Aiken also defended the anti-touting measure in place for the gigs, which stipulate that the person making the booking must have their name on the tickets, and will then have to show their ID when attending the concerts.
The measure had raised concerns it would prevent people from giving tickets as a gift unless they were also to attend.
Mr Aiken described the measure as ‘not foolproof’ and an ‘attempt’ to kerb touting, but said it should not prevent people from buying tickets as gifts. “If somebody buys them as a present and get a confirmation that they bought the ticket and the person comes with that confirmation, we’re not going to stop them coming into the gig, of course we’re not.”
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