In hindsight, we should have seen this coming. Secondary-ticketing firm Viagogo was due to give evidence to a British parliamentary committee yesterday, as part of the latter’s inquiry into the live-music market. Then, in the run-up to the hearing, the company announced that it was suing promoter Kilimanjaro Live (whose CEO was also due to give evidence yesterday) over its cancellation of Ed Sheeran tickets resold on Viagogo.
With just hours to go until the hearing, Viagogo pulled out – the second time it has declined to show up to this particular committee – citing the legal action (plus proceedings being brought by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority) as the reason. “We have not taken this decision lightly and understand how serious it is not to be present this afternoon,” wrote Viagogo to the committee’s chairman Damian Collins MP. He left no words un-minced in his response. “Consumers deserve answers to the huge volume of concerns about secondary ticketing abuse. It is hard not to view this eleventh hour withdrawal cynically,” said Collins. “Viagogo’s non-attendance is a gross discourtesy, the more so given the company’s failure to attend last year.” The hearing went ahead without the company.