Blunderful Christmas Time

Paul McCartney fans were yesterday left both angry and disappointed as tickets for his upcoming Christmas gigs were instantly snapped up mainly by greedy ticket touts.

Several days ago the ex-Beatles announced two special gigs at the HMV Apollo in Hammersmith, London on the 18th, and Liverpool’s O2 Academy on the 20th.

McCartney, 68, who is used to packing out arenas and stadiums the world over, had chosen the small venues in order to create a more intimate mood.

His record audience was over 500,000 at a concert outside Rome’s famed Coliseum in 2003, however London’s HMV Apollo capacity is 8,600 and Liverpool’s O2 academy capacity is a miniscule 1,200.

Tickets for the one off shows were supposed to go on sale at 10am yesterday morning; however ticket selling company Ticketmaster began selling tickets several minutes before 10am, allowing greedy touts to buy the majority in order to sell on at a higher price.

Two tickets that have a face value of £50 each were last night being sold by the money grabbers for over £700 on popular auction site Ebay.

Macca fan Lauren Caton, 18, a student from Coventry University said, “I tried for two Liverpool tickets but failed miserably! And as for the tickets on Ebay-£700 is a lot of money! Personally I wouldn’t pay that for two tickets worth £50, but it depends how much you want to go and see him really.”

On Paul McCartney’s official forum, fans discussed the topic. Kestrel, from Essex said “The only way to beat the touts is simply never to buy from them. They’d only have to have their fingers burnt a few times and they’d soon give up.”

However DCBeatle64 from Edinburgh pointed out: “Unfortunately this is a problem bigger than Paul; this is something the music industry needs to remedy with the help of the Government.”

While ticket touting has been made illegal for several sporting events including football matches, it still remains legal for concerts, despite calls for all touting to be made illegal.

Speaking to the Express last year, top music promoter Harvey Goldsmith said: “Ticket touting is a thriving business and with the internet it is getting out of control. We have been trying to outlaw ticket touts for the last 20-odd years. We cannot regulate it ourselves. We need the government to relook at ticket touting.”

However despite all the anger at the ticket touts, for those fans lucky enough to get hold of tickets, the concerts will be a once in a life time experience.

Paul McCartney said in a statement on his official website: “I always love playing to a home audience. We’ve had great fun with the stadium shows this year and we’re looking forward to the more intimate vibe of these ones. Christmas is the perfect excuse for everyone to let their hair down and rock out. We are looking forward to celebrating with the good people of London and Liverpool.”

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