Melvin Benn would ‘absolutely welcome any regulation’ of secondary ticketing market

Comments come after Electric Picnic sells out in less than five minutes, ahead of lineup announcement

Loosysmokes perform at the launch on the Electric Picnic at  Urban Plant Life on Cork Street, Dublin 8 on March 23rd, 2017.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Loosysmokes perform at the launch on the Electric Picnic at Urban Plant Life on Cork Street, Dublin 8 on March 23rd, 2017. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

The xx, Duran Duran, Chaka Khan and A Tribe Called Quest are among the main headliners at this year’s Electric Picnic festival.

Among the other main acts on the bill are Interpol, Phoenix, Run the Jewels, London Grammar, Madness and Father John Misty. Annie Mac, Mano Le Tough, Hudson Taylor and The Divine Comedy are the Irish acts on the lineup so far.

A version of the festival lineup leaked on social media hours before the main announcement yesterday. The festival also sold out within five minutes of tickets going on sale.

Festival director Melvin Benn said “a little over half” had been sold in presales. “I thought I’d left enough tickets on that it would probably run for a month. I’m happily surprised they went so quickly.”

Tickets were almost immediately available on secondary ticketing sites Seatwave and Viagogo. These ranged in price from €320 to more than €500. The original ticket price is €240. The only tickets left are through the Tour de Picnic charity programme.

This is likely to raise further calls for controls on the secondary ticket market.

The UK government has taken a hard line. Under new proposals, touts who use computer software to buy tickets in bulk before selling them on for profit face unlimited fines. These new laws will also make it a criminal offence to use “bots” to buy large numbers of tickets. This follows similar moves in the US at the end of 2016.

When asked about the secondary ticketing market, Mr Benn said: “We absolutely welcome any regulation of it. Ultimately when a person owns a ticket they own a ticket and they are entitled to do with it what they choose. We don’t encourage it. We discourage it. We don’t want it to happen. But while it’s legal it does happen. ”

An economic impact assessment report released by Benn estimated that the festival generates €36 million for the Irish economy.

The other festival acts are: The Pretenders, Rag ‘N’Bone Man, Band of Horses, Michael Kiwanuka, Floating Points (solo live), Kiasmos, Vince Staples, Mano Le tough, Young Fathers, Krept and Konan, Section Boyz, Perfume Genius, Pond, Car Seat Headerest, Japandroids, Parquet Courts, Real Estate , Phantogram, All We Are, Hudson Taylor, Kelly Lee Owens and Goat Girl.