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Michael Gudinski Slams Govt After Ed Sheeran Ticket Scalping: 'Promoters Aren't The Bad Guys'

8 March 2018 | 11:32 am | Staff Writer

The Mushroom Group founder takes aim.

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Iconic Australian music industry figure Michael Gudinski has taken aim at the Victorian government's stance on ticket scalping amidst the high volume of resale incidents for Ed Sheeran's current record-breaking Australian stadium tour. 

The Mushroom Group founder and head of Frontier Touring, which has brought the UK songwriter to the country, addressed discussions that promoters should immediately disclose the exact number of tickets for sale to gigs in an attempt to deter punters away from resale websites, such as Viagogo. 

Appearing on Wednesday's episode of Hack, Gudinski slammed the idea.

"For a start, how the hell do you know how many shows you're gonna get? Who is taking the risk here?"

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"On the Ed Sheeran concert, let's face it, I don't need to show anyone the contract. I'm a man of my word. We guaranteed ten shows to Ed. I had no idea that we would get 18 shows."

"These people are so off track it's not funny… the promoters aren't the bad guys here." 

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With the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) currently embroiled in a federal court case against Viagogo, Gudinski said the need to address ticket scalping in Australia is long over overdue, especially given that tickets to Sheeran's concerts were being resold by scalpers for up to $3,500 last year.

"People have gone to these sites when these shows aren't even sold out," Gudinski said.

"The Victorian Greens and Liberals are going right off the track and it's gonna be another year before anything gets done. The source is where it needs to be stopped at."

He continued, "The local parliamentarians can all have their say, but they're wrong. It needs to be federal and one law, one place. Because people can buy tickets in Brisbane and sell it in Perth for God's sake."

However, Gudinski did agree with a proposal to be implemented for a 10% limit on people trying to resell purchased tickets at a higher cost. 

"It needs to be dealt with nationally once and for all," Gudinski concluded.

"Seriously, it's just distraction after distraction. And you still go on the computer and you still see Viagogo on the top [referring to Google searches].

"I had hundreds of people didn't get into the Ed Sheeran show in Perth because of it and I feel terrible about it. but it's not my problem. It needs to be administrated."