Theatre bosses vow to crackdown on touts

BOSSES at Ipswich's Regent theatre are today warning people not to buy tickets from touts or unauthorised auction websites in a crackdown on ticket re-selling.

BOSSES at Ipswich's Regent theatre are today warning people not to buy tickets from touts or unauthorised auction websites in a crackdown on ticket re-selling.

Theatre manager David Mansfield said the venue closely monitors auction websites and regularly voids tickets resold by ticket touts.

He said: “We want our customers to be able to buy tickets for our shows. We don't want people profiting from our customers.

“We have about five to ten shows a year that instantly sell out within a few minutes of us putting them on sale. These are hugely popular shows.

“It is a very small proportion of the shows that are affected by problems. Our tickets clearly state they cannot be resold for profit. Failure to comply will make the ticket void.”

Mr Mansfield said ticket touting is a problem that has plagued the entertainment industry throughout its history.

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He added: “It is almost a problem that will never be solved. We try to sell tickets in the fairest way possible. At the theatre we have a policy whereby a proportion of tickets for high demand shows will be available for walk-up sales at the box office.

“This ensures people from the area have a chance of buying tickets.”

Mr Mansfield said tickets are often rationed to buyers to avoid touts buying up large numbers and selling them at a later date.

He said: “Nearly half our business is conducted online and we do suggest customers register with our ticket alert service which notifies customers when shows are about to go on sale.”

With tickets for pop star Will Young, due to perform at the Regent on December 3, currently on sale on the internet for nearly £250, Mr Mansfield said Regent staff would contact sellers to remind them of the venue's condition of sales.

Mr Mansfield added: “Tickets can be found at the click of a button. In the future it is likely that promoters will directly issue tickets to approved auction websites.”

Have you been disappointed with tickets bought from a tout? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk