Edinburgh Tattoo chief wages war on ticket touts

Organisers of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo have urged fans of the event to shun unofficial sites selling tickets for the event to avoid being ripped off or left with fake tickets.

Saturday, 6th August 2016, 2:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:00 pm
Organisers have asked those planning to attend the Tattoo not to buy tickets from unofficial sites, which may be fake or cost more. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Hundreds of seats are being sold for sums way in excese of their cover charge even although the Tattoo box office is still selling tickets for performances throughout the three-week run.

Brigadier David Allfrey, chief executive of the event, said long-standing efforts to keep the event - a sell-out for the last 17 years - affordable were being undermined by people trying to cash in by selling on tickets.

He warned anyone buying a ticket through a secondary ticket website faced being turned away if their tickets turn out to be bogus, but he admitted the Tattoo was unable to take direct action against people selling on tickets over the odds due to current “loopholes” in the law.

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Around 96 per cent of the 220,000 available tickets for this year’s Tattoo had already been snapped up before Thursday night’s opening performance. However tickets were still available on the official website for four performances next week.

And returns are usually available at the official box office on Cockburn Street on the morning of the show.

Public sale tickets for the Tattoo, which have been available since December, are priced between £25 and £70 this year.

However some websites are advertising tickets costing up to £300 a seat. Ticket prices for Tattoo seats on Viagogo’s website start at £80, while the cheapest tickets available on Get Me In for performances next Saturday are £132.

Brigadier Allfrey said: “We absolutely don’t want to work with any of these websites. I’m not impressed with them at all. Most of them are pursuing legal loopholes in the industry.

“People should only come to the authentic Tattoo website. These tickets might not actually exist. We have people turning up with fake tickets often enough for it to be a concern for us.

“If you want to come on a certain night and the only seats that are available are through a secondary agency you should be really careful of the price you pay.

“I know our tickets represent good value for money. The price of everything involved in the show is going up all the time, but we price the event competitively.

“Equally, there is a very strong social component to the Tattoo. It has always been available to people who want to travel to Edinburgh with their family for a night. We should never lost sight of that.”