Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Fraudster 'selling Elton tickets they didn't have'

A WOULD-BE fraudster attempted to sell tickets to see Elton John at the Henley Festival at almost 15 times their face value, despite not actually owning them.

A WOULD-BE fraudster attempted to sell tickets to see Elton John at the Henley Festival at almost 15 times their face value, despite not actually owning them.

A handful of tickets to see the Tiny Dancer singer perform on the ?floating stage? on July 6 appeared on the ticketing website www.viagogo.co.uk yesterday but were later removed after a news report about them was posted on www.henleystandard. co.uk

The seller, who was not identified, was offering four £35 general admission tickets at £495 each. There were also six grandstand B ticket and meal packages being sold at £580 each.

Tickets are due to go on sale to the general public next month but are already available to ?selected members?, such as festival patrons.

Festival chief executive Charlotte Geeves said the four general admission tickets being offered had not actually been bought and the individual was ?taking a punt? on making some money.

She said two separate individuals who were the festival's and its charity?s highest level donors had bought such tickets.

She said: ?We know the identity of the people who have purchased the general admission tickets. They have not and would never have any reason to resell tickets on Viagogo.?

Ms Geeves added: ?This [other] person has acted fraudulently because they have not purchased those four general admission tickets. These tickets are no longer for sale via Viagogo because that person hasn?t bought any.

?It?s terrible but there?s nothing that we as a festival can do because they are not doing anything illegal.?

The £35 ticket allows access to the festival enclosure but not to the main stage area during the concert.

The description of the tickets that were being "sold" online did not make this clear.

Sir Elton will open the festival following the release of his new album, Wonderful Crazy Night, which is due to go on sale February 5.

The show is one of just five concerts in the UK that he will give next year.

He said: ?The simple truth is I want to spend more time with my family and I am only too aware of just how precious the time ahead is.

?My sons are growing up so quickly, their early years are just flying by and I want to be there with them, so these concerts will give me the chance to thank the British audiences who have been so faithful to me over these many decades.

?We cannot get to everyone but I am going to try and I am thrilled that I will be able to say I have played the beautiful Henley-on-Thames.?

The singer is married to David Furnish, a film-maker originally from Canada, and they have two sons, Zachary, four, and Elijah, two.

Festival director Charlotte Geeves said: ?We are extremely excited to be able to announce that the world's most famous pop star will be headlining Henley Festival for the first time.

?Festival goers are huge Elton John fans so he can expect a very warm welcome. It's definitely going to be a night to remember and we can't wait for him to open the festival in July.?

The rest of the headline performers at the five-night festival will be announced later but organisers say the line-up will be ?diverse and exciting? with young, upcoming talent and big names.

There will be a new music stage where unsigned acts will perform.

As well as music, there will be comedy, food, visual arts, street theatre, late night entertainment and a spectacular fireworks display each night.

There will also be the family ticket, which was introduced last year, on the Sunday when children can visit the riverside site and enjoy children's entertainers, musicians, comedians and street entertainers as well as taking part in art and craft sessions while their parents relax.

Organisers say they expect a total audience of 35,000 people over the five days.

Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Monday, December 7 at 10am.

For more information, visit www.henley-festival.co.uk

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