Prominent Edinburgh shopkeeper claims Military Tattoo would fail without him reselling tickets

One of the city’s most prominent shopkeepers has vowed to continue reselling tickets for the Military Tattoo, claiming without his business the event would fail and therefore kill businesses on the Royal Mile.

Friday, 23rd August 2019, 8:09 pm
Malap Singh is approached by police about illegally selling tickets to the Tattoo.

Malap Singh, who is part of the Gold Brothers retail empire which runs several shops on the Royal Mile, has been reselling tickets to the Tattoo for 15 years but has now accused police of harassment insisting he has done nothing wrong.

The Tattoo has strict rules forbidding the resale of their tickets and insists on identification from ticket buyers.

It also warns customers to only buy tickets from official sources.

However, in a video shared on Facebook, Mr Singh can be heard arguing with police officers about selling tickets, branding them “clowns”.

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The video received strong criticism from many viewers, one of whom labelled Mr Singh “scum”.

But Mr Singh was defiant and said he would continue selling the tickets despite being accused of touting.

He quoted the Evening News £55 for tickets to the Tattoo.

Ticket prices for the event typically range between £25 and £90.

Mr Singh sells the tickets at peak times prior to the start of the event at Edinburgh Castle.

He said: “I have never ticket touted because I sell them below face value.

“If you put it up too high people are not going to part with that much money.

“They should make the rules clearer and not put it on the back of a ticket. They should make that clear and say not for resale. If you don’t want to spend the money to print new tickets that is what is going to happen.”

Mr Singh added that he sells the tickets to help keep the Tattoo from failing and to keep his family’s shops open.

“Any publicity for me is good publicity,” he said. “What I am doing is filling the Castle and putting bums on seats so the Tattoo doesn’t fail and the shops which my family own stay open.

“If the Tattoo fails then the whole street will go dead.

“This time they came and stopped me and they have harassed me five times this week and they only come at the busiest time so of course I feel targeted by it.

“Why are the council stopping me and stopping me getting a licence? They say we don’t do street traders’ licences on Lawnmarket.”

A Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo spokesperson said: “Malap Singh is not a licensed seller and we’d strongly recommend only buying tickets from official sources including our website, the box office and authorised travel partners.

“We work hard to ensure the event is affordable and it’s always disappointing to find tickets being sold at inflated prices.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “A 52-year-old man has been charged with Trading Without a Certificate. A report has been submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”

City of Edinburgh Council was contacted for comment.