Organisers of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo have issued a warning over unofficial ticket-sellers after it emerged a rogue website was trying cash in on demand for the event.
Chief executive David Allfrey said the unofficial site, which offers tickets for sale and exchange, should be completely avoided.
He warned that anyone turning up with a ticket bought via the EdinburghTattooTickets site risked being turned away at the gates. The site, which only deals in tickets for the Tattoo, appears to be officially linked to the event, and includes an official history.
Brigadier Allfrey admitted the look of the site was misleading as people may think it has links to the Tattoo. But he admitted the event was powerless to shut down the site or stop Tattoo tickets being traded on other “secondary ticketing” sites.
He insisted that the best place to still get tickets for the event was the official event website. The Tattoo, which sees 25 performances staged at Edinburgh Castle esplanade this month, has been a complete sell-out for the last 17 years in a row.However, briefs currently are still on sale for performances throughout this year’s run.
Brigadier Allfrey pointed out that many tickets are released on the day of performance after being returned to the official box office.
Prices on the Edinburgh-TattooTickets site start at £69, even though the cheapest tickets available from the official site are £25.
The cheapest seats available for the final performance on 26 August start at £125.
The EdinburghTattooTickets site states: “Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is the most spectacular show in the world, enjoyed by an international television audience of 100 million.
“There is, however, no substitute for being there in person as part of the 217,000-strong audience over its three-week season on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle, who don’t simply watch the show but become a part of it.”
However Brigadier Allfrey said: “This site is nothing to do with us. But this site sells tickets at ridiculous mark-ups. Our customers should look very carefully.
“Our conditions are very clear. We do not allow people to resell tickets. If somebody presents with a ticket they have bought from a secondary website they will not be admitted.
“Secondary ticketing is a challenge for any big event. We have also seen tickets for this event going on well-known secondary sites for ridiculous sums, which does not impress us at all. It means people are buying an over-priced ticket and they are not getting value for money.
“There are still tickets available for this year’s show. But every day people return tickets, so it is always worth coming to the box office, ringing in or checking online to see what is available.”
The Tattoo is bidding to increase its turnover from the event to more than £20 million by 2025 – which would represent a 100 per cent increase in a decade.
But Brigadier Allfrey pointed out that the recent growth of the event, which was staged in Australia and New Zealand last year, had allowed it to raise more money than ever for charitable causes.
These include the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, The RAF Benevolent Fund, The Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League, Combat Stress, Seafarers UK and the Venture Trust. Brigadier Allfrey added: “The Tattoo is a charity and we take that very seriously. Last year we gave £1 million to charities and we are planning to do the same this year.”