Ed Sheeran takes on ticket touts and cancels 10,000 gig tickets sold by unofficial resale sites

Adam White
In a move to protect fans from inflated prices, Ed Sheeran has voided thousands of tickets to his upcoming gigs - PA

In an attempt to prevent fans from being defrauded by ticket touts greatly inflating the cost of tickets to his upcoming gigs, Ed Sheeran has cancelled 10,000 tickets being sold online at rip-off prices.

Affected tickets will now once again go on sale via official means, while those purchased at high cost on sites including Viagogo and edsheerantickets2018.com will no longer be able to be used. Tickets being resold at face value on official resale site Twickets will not be affected.

Credit: James Devaney/GC Images

"Most ­profiteering companies heeded promoters' warnings not to trade and resell tickets that would instantly be cancelled," a spokesperson for Sheeran told The Mirror.

"This resulted in 90% of tickets being delivered into fans' hands at the face value. The process of analysing sales and cancelling tickets purchased for purposes for resale will continue until the tour takes place."

Sites selling tickets for Sheeran's upcoming gigs at grossly inflated prices remain active despite the news

The news comes after hundreds of tickets for Sheeran's 2018 Wembley gigs were up for grabs at inflated prices on resale websites within minutes of the tickets initially going on sale. One tout was reportedly selling a pair of tickets for the gig at the eye-watering cost of £174,000. Tickets purchased via official channels cost between £49 and £88, but were largely going for everything from £125 to £400 on resale sites like Viagogo.

Sheeran's cancellation of affected tickets is the latest attempt to combat the surge in online touts selling gig tickets at grossly inflated prices. He previously introduced new safeguards earlier this month to prevent his fans being ripped off. Fans who purchased tickets when they went on sale will have to arrive at their gig venue with the booking confirmation, a valid form of ID and the credit card used for the purchase (or a photocopy).

Lin-Manuel Miranda in the Broadway smash Hamilton, which introduced new ticket technology for its London run Credit: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File

Amid House of Lords proposals to update the digital economy bill to outlaw the controversial ticket tout resale industry, one that perpetually lands fans with outlandishly inflated charges, Sheeran has joined both Adele and the upcoming London run of Hamilton in attempting to circumvent ticket touts.

Tickets accepted for Adele's recent tour had to have ticket holder names printed on them, while Hamilton introduced a paperless ticketing system ahead of its much-anticipated West End debut, with buyers having to attend the theatre with a confirmation email, photo ID and the bank card used for purchasing before they can be let in.

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