TICKET touts are demanding up to £550 a seat to see Billy Connolly’s first live shows in Scotland for five years, Scotland on Sunday can reveal.
All tickets for the Glasgow comic’s 22 forthcoming solo shows were snapped up within minutes when they went on sale in July.
The shows, which start on 29 September, will be the first time Connolly, 71, has been on stage in Scotland since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and undergoing surgery for prostate cancer.
The prices being asked for tickets on various “resale” websites are up to 15 times more than the face value of less than £35.
Fans have posted angry messages on Connolly’s Facebook page in protest at the excessive prices being sought. Kirsty Black Mccraw posted on Facebook: “I was lucky enough to get tickets for Perth but have since seen [ticket website] Get Me In! selling them from £180 to £550 per ticket. This is a disgrace.”
Elly McKay posted: “Same for Aberdeen. Getmein robbers were charging £220 a ticket. Why is this allowed to happen?”
Demand is highest to see Connolly in intimate venues like the 1,220-capacity Perth Concert Hall, the Music Hall in Aberdeen, which holds less than 1,300 and Dundee’s Caird Hall, which holds 2,000. He is also appearing at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh and the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow.
Connolly fans queued outside venues and sent box office websites crashing when 15 initial gigs went on sale.
Touts advertising on Get Me In! – which is affiliated to official sales agent Ticketmaster – are looking for up to £550 for a balcony seat at the Music Hall on the opening night of the tour.
Stalls seats at Perth Concert Hall are being offered for up to £302, while the seller of a ticket for the tiered seating at the Caird Hall is looking for £218.
Hundreds of tickets are available for Connolly’s shows in Edinburgh and Glasgow on the Get Me In! site, with sellers looking for up to £165 and £192 respectively. Tickets are also available on other sites such as Viagogo and Seatwave.
Andy Kite, marketing manager at Aberdeen Performing Arts which runs the Music Hall, said: “We are aware of the prices that these tickets are being sold for and we have looked into it. When you buy a ticket for a show here it is generally non-refundable and non-resalable, but this is unfortunately something we’re unable to do much about. We would only be able to cancel a ticket if we knew the exact seat number and they are usually not advertised on these websites.”
The SECC, which runs the Clyde Auditorium and the Hydro, last month announced it had struck a deal which will see Ticketmaster become its ticket supplier, promising it would lead to “a greatly improved service for customers, including access to Get Me In!”. A Ticketmaster spokesman said: “Ticketmaster does not own any of the tickets listed on Get Me In! but we do back them with our 100 per cent ‘fan guard’ promise. All tickets are listed by sellers, at prices they set. Ticketmaster sells all tickets allocated to us by event organisers in strict accordance with their instructions.”