Take That have announced extra dates, at the City Of Manchester Stadium (June 8, 10, 11), Cardiff Millennium Stadium (15) and London Wembley Stadium (July 6, 8, 9), after selling an estimated one million tickets on Friday alone.
The official sites selling tickets for the 14 stadium shows, which include www.theticketfactory.com, www.ticketline.co.uk, crashed amid reports that fan demand had taken down half the internet. Even Tickemaster crumbled under the weight.
Naturally, that sent fans to secondary ticketing sites where hundreds of tickets were instantaneously on sale for vastly inflated prices. Anyone for a £1,000 Wembley Stadium standing ticket on Seatwave?
How disappointing it must be to have acquired one of the tickets from an official site and within seconds realise it’s for a date you can’t go to and inside minutes make a killing on your good fortune?
Unless sites like Seatwave and Viagogo are guaranteed plum tickets by the promoters beforehand to sell on at top dollar, with both parties sharing the cut?
One of the sites which crashed today was www.getmein.com, the official secondary ticketing partner of Ticketmaster, the official Take That vendor. Ticketmaster says Getmein provides “safeguards for buyers and sellers” but it can look more like a forum for experienced touts and newcomers to rip off fans. Viagogo too is linked to a face value website, aloud.com.
How many fans were actually able today to buy a top seat at the £90 advertised price? Police today warned fans not to buy from unofficial sites where they might be ripped off - but some fans might ask just what the difference is.
No doubt extra dates will be announced and the band, reunited with Robbie Williams, are confirmed as the hottest ticket in town, in a week when Kings Of Leon, Bon Jovi and Foo Fighters UK tickets go on sale.
But they could have made a bigger deal, amid all the tour promo, about ensuring their fans get fair access to tickets, instead of Robbie complaining that they wouldn’t play Glastonbury because the fee isn’t high enough.
So how to get a decent Take That ticket? Oddly, the official premier VIP packages offered by www.markbutler.co.uk look good value given the secondary market.
For £400 you apparently get a guaranteed premium view seat, 3-course meal, champagne and private bar at Wembley Stadium. And the company promises they can’t be resold for thousands on the secondary market.
A Take That spokesman said: “Due to totally unprecedented demand this morning, all ticket agents have struggled to cope with the number of people logging on to try and buy Take That tickets.
“The technology available has not been able to keep up with demand however all ticket agents are confident they will be able to process all enquiries so are asking fans to keep trying.”