Ed Sheeran’s tour promoters have been sued by event ticket re-sale company Viagogo for alleged fraud, marking the latest development in a long-running battle regarding ticket touting and second-hand sales.
The ticket company announced that it has issued legal proceedings in a German court against Kilimanjaro Live over the promoter’s decision to void thousands of tickets to Sheeran’s recent tour that had been purchased through Viagogo.
According to a report on Wednesday (September 5th) by the BBC, Viagogo alleges that tickets that fans had bought from them were later marked as void, with the customers apparently told to buy another ticket and then request a refund from Viagogo. They claim that Kilimanjaro Live was therefore “pocketing millions of pounds in duplicate sales”.
A spokesman for Viagogo asserted that all tickets sold via the company were authentic, and claimed that “a comprehensive file of incontrovertible photographic and filmed evidence” would be presented in court, backed up with “hundreds” of supporting witness statements.
The development comes on the same day that Christopher Miller, Viagogo’s senior executive, is due in parliament to face questioning by MPs on the Commons digital, culture, media and sport select committee over the company’s business practices and alleged breaches of consumer law.
In response, Kilimanjaro Live’s chief executive Stuart Galbraith told the Guardian he wasn’t aware of any legal proceedings. Sheeran's representatives have not yet commented.
All of this comes in the context of Sheeran and his team being outspoken critics of secondary ticketing sites such as Viagogo, and their alleged tactics of snapping up thousands of tickets at a time and then selling them on individually well above their face value. A recent change in the British law, lobbied for by Sheeran and other stars, has made ticket touts who use ‘bot’ technology in a similar way liable to unlimited fines.