MADRID – Concert tickets that went on sale on Friday for Irish rock band U2 in Madrid were apparently sold out only moments after going on for sale, promoters said.
The U2 concert tickets for the second of their only two Spanish dates, scheduled for Sept. 20-21 at Madrid’s 16,000-seater WiZink Center (also known as the Sports Palace), went on sale early Friday and appeared to sell out a minute later, prompting authorities to look into the matter.
“It’s not normal,” said Spain’s Minister of Education, Culture and Sports, Iñigo Mendez de Vigo. “This damages those who want to attend the concerts and see how those tickets later reappear on other websites at a much higher price, which also means a rip-off for the bands, since they don’t receive any of those extra profits.”
“The practice of re-selling needs to end,” he added, before calling for more transparency in the ticket sales process.
Both Mendez de Vigo and the Spanish interior minister, Juan Ignacio Zoido, have become involved in the matter and have ordered Spanish police to investigate a possible case of “ticket-touting” or “abusive ticket re-sales.”
The investigation was announced following the government’s weekly cabinet meeting.
Some fans had been able to pre-book tickets through promotional schemes only accessible to official fan clubs and buyers of the Dublin band’s latest album, “Songs of Experience” (2017).
Neither the ticket company, Ticketmaster, nor local concert promotion companies LiveNation and Doctor Music, were able to explain to EFE if all available 16,000 tickets had gone on sale, stating that “confidentiality agreements” with the tour management forbade them from disclosing the information.
Although the ticket allocation seemed completely sold-out after one hour of “virtual queuing,” some ticket-buyers told EFE that at one minute past the 10.00 am opening time Ticketmaster’s box-office server had already posted a “sold-out” sign.
However, below the message, Ticketmaster suggested some exclusive “platinum” tickets – meaning good viewing seats – were still available with prices starting at 610 euros ($762) apiece.
Since tickets for U2’s first Madrid date (WiZink, Sept. 20) were apparently sold out in only 10 minutes, a number of irregularities have been denounced by the Irish band’s Spanish followers.