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Coldplay fans irked by inflated ticket prices for New Year gig

ABU DHABI // Tickets for British band Coldplay’s New Year’s Eve show in Abu Dhabi have turned up online at inflated prices, barely hours after the concert sold out in record time.

Fans hoping to see the band are angry that some were able to buy batches of tickets to resell for profit.

General admission tickets, priced at Dh395 for the du Arena gig, were being resold on Dubizzle and online ticket exchange Viagogo for as much as Dh920 only hours after official outlets had sold out.

Flash Entertainment and telecom du were offering 20 per cent discount on the Coldplay performance for F1 Grand Prix concert-goers and its customers.

But for fans such as Briton Ruth Bagnall, that offer was irrelevant after the fastest ticket sales in the company’s history.

“I went to the F1 in Abu Dhabi and was sent an email offering a discount on New Year’s Eve tickets to watch Coldplay,” said the teacher from Dubai.

“I clicked on the email link yesterday, but they were all sold out. They started at Dh395 and went up to Dh1,400 for the VIP tickets through the registered seller.

“I’ve always found it easy to get tickets for any kind of high-profile artist performing in the UAE, even the day before.

“I understand Coldplay have a big reputation and it’s New Year’s Eve, but I never expected them to sell out so quickly.

“It’s unusual to see so many tickets for sale on Dubizzle. It’s always been on my bucket list to see Coldplay live, but it’s not going to be this year.”

The British band’s show on Yas Island is part of the A Head Full of Dreams tour, in support of the release of the album of the same name. The four-piece previously performed in the UAE in 2009 and 2011.

Viagogo was doing a brisk trade in Coldplay tickets on the resale market. Tickets can be resold on the site free of charge, with people in possession looking to cash in on the huge mark-up generated from the band’s global appeal.

More than 45,000 Coldplay fans were looking at tickets for gigs around the world, with 650 tickets available for resale for the Abu Dhabi concert.

Amar, who had been trying to get tickets for two days, was shocked by the online resale price.

“I can’t seem to find any tickets that I can afford,” she said.

“It’s really depressing because I notice that many people buy about 10 tickets just to resell them for double the price when no more are available.”

Nina, who was hoping to buy a pair of tickets, said one seller had tried to scam her by trying to sell a ticket in a friend’s name. “Unfortunately, the tickets sold out way too fast,” she said.

“People are buying extra to sell them at a higher rate.”

Things could be worse for Coldplay fans. Such was demand for One Direction tickets in 2014, tickets for the sold-out gig were changing hands for four times their face value, commanding a fee of Dh3,000 to watch the teen idols at the Dubai Sevens stadium.

Under UAE law, selling on tickets from an unauthorised vendor is a criminal offence.

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