Edinburgh Tattoo chiefs warn of cancelling black market tickets

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is to mount its biggest ever clampdown on ticket touts to try to stop seats for the event being sold on the black market at prices way in excess of the face value.

The Top Secret Drum Corps from Switzerland during the rehearsal for The Royal Military Edinburgh Tattoo at Redford Barracks, Edinburgh. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
The Top Secret Drum Corps from Switzerland during the rehearsal for The Royal Military Edinburgh Tattoo at Redford Barracks, Edinburgh. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Organisers have warned people face being turned away from the event if they have bought briefs through controversial secondary ticket agencies.

Ticket-holders are being urged to bring ID with them to the event to try to ensure that tickets are not sold on for a profit.

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Organisers have warned anyone who has bought a ticket from an unofficial source that they are likely to have “a very tough evening”.

The Tattoo’s tough new stance mirrors action taken by singing superstar Ed Sheeran to stop anyone who had bought a ticket on a “resale” website from attending his shows at Hampden Park in Glasgow in June.

The Tattoo, which is still selling thousands of tickets for performances this year, has refused to deal with any secondary ticket sites, even though they have official links with venues like the Hydro in Glasgow and official agents like Ticketmaster.

Tattoo chiefs, who have spoken out ahead of the event’s official launch on Friday, have insisted tickets can still be purchased throughout the run as returns are usually made available on the morning of shows. People who have bought tickets through an unofficial source are being urged to contact the Tattoo box office in advance to avoid disappointment on the night.

The clampdown has been ordered by the event’s chief executive and producer, Brigadier David Allfrey, after close monitoring of ticket buying patterns since seats went on sale in December.

Brigadier Allfrey said: “We are taking a much tougher stance about the secondary ticketing market. We are absolutely fed up with it.

“Individuals and companies are becoming increasingly sophisticated in precuring tickets from us. They are not buying tickets in blocks, as we have very strict restrictitions on the number that can be bought by any one individual. They are basically selecting tickets across the run of the Tattoo and are using different names and postcodes.

“If we know about a ticket bought on the secondary market we will not allow entry and we are telling everybody that.

“If you turn up with a ticket bought from a secondary agency with someone else’s name on it you are likely to be in for a very tough evening. It’s entirely realistic that we will turn people away.

“People should not be paying far more than the face value for a ticket from any of these sites and they have absolutely no guarantee that they have the only ticket for a seat.

“Like the rock and roll industry, we are going to be far more resolute about this in future. We will be taking a much closer look at tickets and who people are this year.

“If you’re coming into Edinburgh clutching a handful of tickets bought through the secondary market you will be in for an unhappy time.”

A spokeswoman for the Tattoo said: “We are trying to educate people as much as possible to help them understand that the secondary marketing is not a sensible place to buy tickets from.

“Our message to people looking for a ticket would be to check with our box office every day and only buy through official sources.”