What Spice Girls fans with 'VIP tickets' get for £100 extra: A tote bag, a badge, a poster and some postcards

The Spice Girls perform during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium, August 12, 2012 - Stefan Wermuth
The Spice Girls perform during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium, August 12, 2012 - Stefan Wermuth

It was the one thing thousands of Spice Girls fans really, really wanted. 

But on Saturday many faced the prospect of missing out on the girl band's upcoming Spice World tour unless they were prepared to fork out extra for a "Zig a Zig Ah" VIP upgrade.

Many of the tickets on offer were "VIP packages" costing around £100 more than regular tickets, but all fans get in addition to their seat is a tote bag, a badge, a laminate, some postcards and an unspecified "gift", raising questions about their value for money.

Four out of six ticket categories on offer at Ticketmaster were "VIP package" tickets with inflated prices, which include a seat plus merchandise.

Gigsandtours.com, the other official seller to the event, sold "Spice Circle premium stand" tickets for £210. Tickets with access to the same standing area as part of a VIP "Spice up your life VIP" package, cost £96 more at £306. The only difference between the two tickets was the merchandise. 

spice girls  - Credit:  Dave Hogan
The Spice Girls will perform for the first time in years, but without Victoria Beckham Credit: Dave Hogan

Ticketmaster also had a range of VIP packages named after Spice Girl lyrics, including a "Zig a Zig Ah" standing ticket package for £170, a "Say You'll be There" package for £230.  

One fan said: "Wow! I was looking at the VIP standing (£176) which is a £100 more than normal standard and all you’d get is a load of tat? T-Boz has some competition!"

Another said: "Can't afford the inflated prices, still tried to queue. Got booted off, logged back on for "extra" dates only to see VIP left. Go figure. Still, rich spice."   

Wayne Grierson, chief executive at secondary ticket site Stubhub, said: “The rights holder sets the prices, decides on the availability of tickets and whether to package tickets as part of VIP experiences. 

"We continue to advocate for the consumers right to know how many tickets are made available to buy. We remain concerned by the growing trend of tickets being made available by rights holders as part of VIP packages, which may mean even less regular tickets are accessible by fans.”  

Tickets went on sale at 10.30am on Saturday but fans of the 90s girl band complained as they were left waiting in queues for up to two hours, as thousands of people rushed to get tickets to the anticipated tour.

Within minutes tickets had appeared on secondary ticketing websites for up to £1,500 each, causing extra upset for fans struggling to secure tickets.  Extra dates were added in London, Coventry and Manchester with the first batch of tickets for the original six dates selling out in just minutes.

Adam French, Which? consumer rights expert, said: “While many fans will be desperate to get their hands on Spice Girls tickets for next year’s tour, don’t get carried away with the hype and end up spending more than you planned to pay.

“As tickets become available on secondary ticketing sites, watch out for unscrupulous sellers who might be looking to make a quick profit by charging significantly above the retail price.”

Andrew Parsons, managing director at Ticketmaster, said demand for Spice Girls broke its previous records with a queue of 700,000 fans queuing for tickets at one stage.

He said: “Demand for Spice Girls was off the chart. They have smashed through Ticketmaster UK’s records becoming the busiest ever sale.

"There were millions of people on our site searching for tickets, with a queue at one point of well over 700,000. Hundreds of thousands of tickets were sold to happy fans across the country within minutes. Congratulations to the girls. From what we saw, they could have played nearly every night for a year.”