Scalpers set sights on the bush
TICKET scalping issues usually reserved for the major cities has made it's way into rural Queensland.
Stanthorpe, Kingaroy and Chinchilla are among some of the towns being targeted by online ticket sellers, Viagogo.
Jack Kearney, a producer from next Tuesday night's A Taste of Ireland music and dance showcase, said he was alerted to the problem on Wednesday when venue operators contacted him in a panic.
"I got a call from one of the women from the council (Southern Downs Regional Council), who run the Civic Centre in Stanthorpe,” Mr Kearney said.
"She called me quite concerned because quite a few people in the town had been getting back to her saying they were looking forward to going to the show, but they weren't going to afford it.
"The tickets they'd seen online on this Viagogo site were upwards of $140 a ticket,” he said.
In fact, the cheapest ticket on Viagogo was $144 and went up as high as $172 per ticket.
Through A Taste of Ireland's' approved ticket site, trybooking.com, tickets for children up to 13 years old are priced at $50 and $70 for an adult.
"We've done Crown Casino in Melbourne, Thebarton in Adelaide and done some of those bigger theatres in the major cities and we have had issues there were it has popped up.
"It is the first time we've seen it happen in a regional area. Now we're seeing the material effects and consequences of sites like this and negative effect it can have on an industry.
"When you go into a regional area you are relying on the fact that people in the town don't have as much access to entertainment as in the big cities.
"So when it happens in a regional area you would argue that it is more damaging than if it is happening in the city.
"People aren't as exposed to these big scam sites and are more vulnerable.
"The unfortunate thing about this is there's not a hell of a lot we can do to go in and mitigate the damage.
"My understanding is that they are genuine tickets, but they're an inflated price.
"I'm not sure if people have gone down the rabbit hole of buying those tickets or whether just seen it and been deterred from buying.
"Going through our website is the best way to go.”
Tickets are still available and can be purchased properly by going to www.atasteofirelandshow.com and clicking the links to book.
The show moves from the Sunshine Coast region down to Stanthorpe on Tuesday, June 25 and continues until September 21 for the final performance at Hamilton, New Zealand.
- Matthew Purcell, Stanthorpe Border Post