Boris Johnson was today asked to explain why tickets for the London New Year’s Eve fireworks display are being sold by online ticket touts for £500 each.
Boris Johnson was today asked to explain why tickets for the London New Year’s Eve fireworks display are being sold by online ticket touts for £500 each; fifty-times their face value of £10. The Mayor announced on 17 September 2014 that this year’s event would be ticketed for the first time since it was established in 2003.
The Mayor was unable to answer questions at last week’s Mayor’s Question Time (also 17 September) as to whether a strategy had been put in place by the Greater London Authority to protect the public from ticket touting. The Greater London Authority has issued 100,000 tickets for the event to limit numbers around the River Thames during the event, with the Mayor arguing that the £10 cost of each ticket would “barely cover the cost of the ticketing”.
Fiona Twycross AM wrote to the Mayor earlier today to ask why no system appears to be in place to prevent the public from being ripped off by touting. Such anti-touting procedures are now common for many events and were implemented successfully during the London Olympics.
Commenting today, London Assembly Labour Group Economy Spokesperson Fiona Twycross said:
“This is a celebration funded entirely by the public through their taxes. It is bad enough that Boris Johnson wants to exclude many families from this event who will not be able to afford a £10 ticket; but it is absolutely shameful that no protection appears to have been put in place to prevent touting. Touting was successfully prevented during the London Olympics, so it would highlight an extraordinary level of carelessness if it emerges that these same policies weren’t automatically applied to this event as well.”
Tickets for the New Years Eve firework display are currently being sold on the Seatwave site for up to £500 each.
Fiona Twycross is a Labour Londonwide Assembly Member.