York Barbican says a spate of fake tickets led to them turning away many Ricky Gervais fans from his show there last night (Wednesday).
The venue was responding after a large number of ticket-holders vented their anger and disappointment after being denied entry to the comedian’s gig.
As we reported earlier, many had made long round trips to York – only to be sent away after waiting in a long queue to have their tickets checked.
They had purchased tickets from reseller Viagogo, rather than directly from the authorised seller Ticketmaster. Viagogo has also issued a statement saying they were shocked fans were turned away.
This evening, a York Barbican spokesperson said: “A significant number of people were unable to enter the venue to see the sold-out Ricky Gervais show on Wednesday 11 due to the box office being presented with a large number of fake tickets.
“Due to the number of fake tickets presented, a decision was made to only allow tickets purchased from Ticketmaster as the sole authorised ticket seller for this event.
“While we never want to turn away fans, we are simply not permitted to allow entry to customers with fake tickets.
“We did everything possible to accommodate people who had tickets from touts, however due to the sheer volume presented we were unable to assist everybody.”
A spokesperson for Viagogo said: “We were shocked to hear that fans were turned away from Ricky Gervais’ performance at the York Barbican just because their tickets were purchased through Viagogo.
“As a business whose entire mission is to get people into events safely and securely, we view this kind of anti-consumer behaviour as totally unacceptable.
“Customers should never be used as a casualty in an attempt to control ticket sales.
“It is perfectly legal to pass on, sell or give tickets to other people. Turning people away at the door who’ve bought legitimate tickets just because you disagree with ticket resale is an abuse of consumer freedom.
“Customers should be allowed the choice and flexibility to use a resale website if they want to, and this basic right should be protected.
“Any Viagogo ticket holder that was denied entry to this event will be provided with a full refund in line with our guarantee, which states all tickets will get you into the event or your money back.”
Viagogo said the York Barbican was the only venue on Ricky Gervais’s tour where these problems had occurred.
Some show-goers had said they were told duplicate tickets had been sold on Viagogo for Gervais’s Barbican gig the night before, leading to Wednesday night’s crackdown.
But Viagogo told YorkMix that there was “no evidence to support this”.