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Vancouver tickets to Tragically Hip sell out in seconds

Last Updated Jun 3, 2016 at 11:50 am PDT

Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip performs on at the RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest on July 17, 2015 in Ottawa. WIREIMAGE/Mark Horton.
Summary

BC NDP arts critic calls ticket scalping a 'gross' practice, after Tragically Hip shows sell out suspiciously fast

VANCOUVER – Many Tragically Hip fans were left empty handed this morning as tickets for some of the band’s upcoming summer concerts sold out almost immediately.

Less than a minute after the start of today’s public sale for the two shows in Vancouver, it appeared that all tickets had been snapped up — even single tickets were gone.

Amy is one of the fans out of luck.

“I had three different friends trying and I was trying two different computers at the same time,” she tells NEWS 1130. “I was literally on right at 10 a.m. Not one of us even got an option for tickets. How is that possible?”

Gary and a several of his co-workers all banded to together to find tickets for the super fan in their office.

“We all went online at 9:58 a.m. and watched the countdown on Ticketmaster for the tickets to be released. [As soon as] the tickets were released, we clicked on ‘best available,’ and it said ‘Sorry, there are no tickets available.'”

Ticket scalping is a ‘gross’ practice, says NDP arts critic

“Scalpers who buy up all the tickets just to sell them for way more, they offer nothing of value to us. Really, I think that practice is gross,” says BC NDP Arts Critic Spencer Chandra Herbert.

Chandra Herbert thinks there is something the province could do. He wants to at least form a working group with stakeholders, but he thinks the Attorney General’s office could do more.

He wants to follow New York State’s lead.

“Their Attorney General’s come up with a very scathing report, looking at companies that profit through greed in this way. What they found is pretty shocking about one person could effectively snatch up thousands of tickets, just through computer software.”

The public safety minister won’t be doing anything. Mike Morris says anti-scalping laws aren’t enforceable and blames Live Nation — which also owns Ticketmaster — and the band.

Tragically Hip fans across the country experienced the same thing — fast sell-outs happened when tickets for shows in Ontario and Edmonton went on sale earlier this morning.

Ontario’s attorney general is exploring an investigation and the prime minister has hinted about it as well.

NEWS 1130 has reached out to major re-sellers, Ticketmaster, and Live Nation but have not yet received a comment.

Fans take to social media to express frustration

Disappointed fans took to social media to express their suspicion that a large portion of the tickets were bought by resellers hoping to capitalize on the intense interest. There are well over a thousand tickets to the Vancouver shows listed on StubHub.

This tour is widely expected to be the final one for the iconic Canadian band, given lead singer Gord Downie’s battle with incurable brain cancer.

“Hope the scalpers have a great time at the Tragically Hip shows!” tweeted user David Kennedy shortly after tickets sold out.

Others remarked that there seemed to be relatively few happy tweets from fans who were actually able to buy tickets.

“So did literally no one get Tragically Hip tickets??” asked user Ali Neil on Twitter.

Not everyone was shut out of tickets though and fans who chose the old-fashioned approach — lining up at Ticketmaster outlets — seemed to have greater success.

Emily Plunkett was one of the fortunate ones who stood outside the ticket booth at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa where a small group of fans waited all night.

All of them were able to secure tickets, she said.