Elton John Ticket Scam Sees Hundreds Turned Away From Farewell Tour
Hundreds of Elton John fans who paid to attend the singer's farewell tour in Adelaide have been turned away at the door after purchasing invalid tickets on Viagogo.
Adelaide woman Samantha Wells, thought she had bought Elton concert tickets for herself and her son James, paying hundreds of dollars to Viagogo in February this year.
"It was a birthday present for James and he was all excited," Wells told 10 News First Adelaide reporter Hannah Foord.
"When they said they were fake that was really upsetting because I don't get a lot of money and they cost me $388," she added.
Luckily, a good Samaritan stepped in and offered to pay for Samantha and her autistic son James to see Elton John's performance, but disappeared into the crowd before she could properly thank him.
"I want to reach out to that guy and say 'thank you' because you've made one of James's dreams come true," Wells said.
Touring company Chugg Entertainment has since confirmed to the Adelaide Advertiser that about 200 people had been denied entry to the concert after using the third party ticketing site.
Dini Soulio, South Australia's consumer affairs minister, has advised those affected to apply for a refund but told FiveAA he understood missing the historic concert was about more than just money.
“To attend a concert and have the embarrassment of being refused entry of the door, getting your money back for the ticket is not enough,” Dini Soulio told FIVEaa.
Elton John is touring Australia and New Zealand throughout December, January, February and March -- with tickets for all dates showing up on Viagogo.
It's not the first time the ticket reseller has been in the news after fans have been denied entry to an event.
Local bands and promoters have vocally opposed the impact they say Viagogo is having on the Australian live music industry with Sydney group Gang of Youths describing it as a "disgraceful and disruptive scam" via a post on Instagram in November 2018.
Following pressure from industry groups, Google banned Viagogo advertising in July this year to help consumers avoid getting scammed.
“When people use our platform for help in purchasing tickets, we want to make sure that they have an experience they can trust,” a Google spokesperson said.
However, in the last few days, the ban appears to have been lifted, with a search for 'Elton John Adelaide tickets' showing Viagogo in the top results.
Michael Chugg of Chugg Entertainment told The Daily Telegraph that the search engine shouldn't be supporting Viagogo.
“Google shouldn’t be taking their money; it’s disgusting.”
Main Image: Getty.