Why ticket rules were so strict at Ed Sheeran's Ipswich gigs
PUBLISHED: 10:24 06 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:54 06 December 2019
Ed Sheeran's manager has told a jury why they decided to take action against ticket resales, including at the singer's Chantry Park dates this summer.
Stuart Camp, from Bury St Edmunds, appeared at Leeds Crown Court to give evidence in the trial of two men alleged to have sold millions of pounds of tickets for a range of top events harvested from official sellers using computer bots and fake identities.
He told the jury how they decided to take a stand against the resale of tickets at "absurd" prices after spotting £75 seats for a charity gig at the Royal Albert Hall gig on sale for £7,000.
He said Sheeran performed at the event for nothing and the tickets were £75 plus a booking fee, but he saw some going for £7,000 on the secondary ticketing site Viagogo.
Mr Camp said: "I bet none was donated to charity. This is absurd.
"We just really wanted to make sure we weren't in that situation again."
It was after seeing this that he put a no resale clause in the terms and conditions of the tickets sold for the stadium leg of Sheeran's Divide tour, which included four dates in Ipswich.
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Those wishing to see the singer at one of his bank holiday weekend dates this summer were given strict rules on how to purchase their tickets.
Ticket sales were limited to a small number of approved sellers with anyone buying a ticket through secondary selling sites like Viagogo being told they would not be valid.
Gig-goers also had to bring the card the tickets were purchased on to the concert.
Mr Camp said he wrote to the big four secondary ticket sites informing them of the ticket changes and three complied.
He said Viagogo "ignored it straight away".
The manager told the jury that people who arrived at gigs with tickets bought on secondary ticketing sites would often be offered an official ticket at face value, and then helped to claim back the money from the site where they bought the invalid ticket.
Mr Camp was giving evidence as a prosecution witness in the trial of Peter Hunter and David Smith - who traded as Ticket Wiz and BZZ.
Hunter, 51, and Smith, 56, both of Crossfield Road, north London, deny fraudulent trading and possessing an article for fraud.