Suffolk’s Ed Sheeran backs a boycott of online ticket tout sites like Viagogo and Stubhub

Ed Sheeran has called for music fans to "get educated" about ticket touts. Photo: Isabel Infantes/PA

Ed Sheeran has called for music fans to "get educated" about ticket touts. Photo: Isabel Infantes/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Suffolk’s Ed Sheeran has lent his backing to a campaign which urges music fans to reject the “emotional blackmail” of websites selling gig tickets at inflated prices.

The Castle on the Hill singer joins a number of artists, including Mumford And Sons and Radiohead, in encouraging music lovers to stop using secondary outlets such as Viagogo, Get Me In!, Stubhub and Seatwave.

The musicians have endorsed a new guide published by campaign organisation The FanFair Alliance, which offers fans tips on how to get gig tickets while avoiding touts and websites where tickets are sold at many times their face value.

The FanFair Alliance says its manual is a “response to the dark arts employed by resale platforms” and comes a month after Viagogo was accused of “moral repugnance” by an MP for reselling tickets to Ed’s Teenage Cancer Trust charity gig at the Royal Albert Hall for up to £5,000.

The guide warns of tech-savvy “shady operators” who use computer programmes to mine for tickets in vast quantities before selling them for huge profits on the secondary platforms which it claims charge 20% to 25% fees on top of the resale price.

It calls on fans to “resist the emotional blackmail” when considering buying tickets from the secondary platforms.

The online guide also offers tips on using face value exchange websites, how to get pre-sale tickets and warns of using search engines.

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Ed, whose manager Stuart Camp will discuss the issue with MPs on the Culture, Media And Sport Select Committee on Tuesday, has urged fans to “get educated about ticket touts”.

The Framlingham-born singer added: “Find out who the authorised ticket sellers are, avoid the secondary sites and if you’ve got to sell a ticket, sell if for face value.”

You Me At Six frontman Josh Franceschi, who spoke to MPs on the topic last year, said: “It’s about transparency and respect between the artist and their fans.

“I was determined to be part of positive change and to be look-out for the fans of live music who have given us everything we have today.”

Tory MP Nigel Adams, who chairs the All-Parliamentary Group On Music, said: “It’s so important to keep sound advice like this guide in mind, and be vigilant for red flags, before parting with money.”

FanFair Alliance’s Adam Webb added: “These businesses not only fuel industrial-scale levels of ticket touting, they also use a range of manipulative marketing techniques that sow confusion when tickets go onsale and direct fans away from legitimate and authorised sellers.”