'Keep away from my fans, you cheating scumbags' | Tim Minchin's assault on Viagogo © Damian Bennett

'Keep away from my fans, you cheating scumbags'

Tim Minchin's assault on Viagogo

Tim Minchin has launched a withering attach on ticket resale sites, branding them ‘cheating scumbags’.

His withering broadside accuses the companies of artificially inflating ticket prices and ripping off fans, artists and producers.

Naming Viagogo as the worst offender, he said their actions are especially damaging at a time when the live entertainment industry is ‘on its knees’ as a result of Covid.

His social media outburst - in which he told the touts to ‘get your filthy fucking fingers away from my fans’ – comes as tickets for his autumn UK tour, Back, go on sale.

In response, Viagogo said they never bought up tickets themselves and insisted they offered a useful service in helping fans get 'hard-to-obtain tickets' and promoters fill up their seats.

The comedian and musician wrote on Twitter: ‘Sadly, I have to tweet this every time I put shows on sale. NEVER buy tickets from Viagogo or other resale sites. They are cheating scumbags. Scalpers. Petty grifters. They buy tickets in bulk to deliberately increase scarcity, then sell them at hugely inflated prices.

‘They create nothing and contribute nothing. They skulk on in after artists, producers and promoters have done all the hard work and, by preying on people's naivety and advertising themselves as a ticket outlet, make money that they've done nothing to deserve.

‘The fact that even now, as our industry is on its knees, they continue this shit is proof of what massive wankers they are. They are not only stealing your money short term, but their practise drives the price of tickets up in general.

‘On this tour, I'm aiming - with the help of my awesome audience, to raise about £7K for charity at each gig. I challenge  @viagogo to match me pound for pound. If not, get your filthy fucking fingers away from my fans. You have no right to weasel your way In Between them and me.

In brackets, he added: '‘Yes, I know there are more important fights to fight in this world. But live music means a lot to a lot of people, and tickets are expensive enough already. My fans have to save up to pay the *normal* price. My promoters & I think long and hard about price points.

‘There are a lot of factors including, these days, the risk of shouldering the huge cost of getting a show like mine on the road despite the fact that no one will insure us against something Covid-ish shutting us down.

‘We also aim to make a profit, yes, & I'm a rich fuck, yes. But that's MY moral quandary, and it's a supply-demand conversation between me and MY audience.

‘There's just something particularly slimy about Viagogo and their ilk that gets my goat. Apologies for the negative vibes. There are joyous nights ahead, beautiful people.’

In response,  the company said: 'Our aim is to provide ticket buyers with the widest possible choice of tickets to events across the world and to help ticket sellers, ranging from individuals with a spare ticket to large multi-national event organisers, reach a global audience.

'Comments made by Mr Tim Minchin demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of how Viagogo, or indeed other resale platforms, operate and the valuable service we provide to enable event organisers to maximise attendance and consumers to access otherwise difficult-to-obtain tickets. 

'It is absolutely misleading to suggest that Viagogo buys tickets directly. It is not how the platform works at all and it is irresponsible to suggest otherwise.

'Prices for tickets listed on the Vagogo site are set by sellers and may be below or above face value. Tickets that are listed at unreasonable prices get the most media attention but rarely, if ever, sell. Viagogo does not buy or sell tickets.

 'Viagogo welcomes further opportunities to work with event organisers directly to support them in the distribution of their tickets. In a post Covid-19 world, we feel that cooperation should be the focus of all those within the industry. 

'Viagogo will not allow sellers to list tickets for the charity section of Mr Minchin’s event.'

Minchin directed those who genuinely wanted to trade unused tickets to Twickets instead. The fan-to-fan site caps a ticket’s resale price at its face value to prevent profiteering.

The first tickets to Minchin’s Back tour have today been released to fans who bought his first studio solo album, Apart Together, from his official store. They go on sale via Ticketmaster tomorrow then on general release from 10am on Friday.

The tour kicks off in Birmingham on October 23 and will wind up in Bournemouth just over a month later.

Click here for the dates, and links to the Ticketmaster sales for each gig.

Published: 10 Mar 2021

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