Ticket touts 'ripping off' Girls Aloud fans

Battle Abbey concert promoters are calling for ticket touting to be made illegal, saying the internet has made it easier to rip fans off.

It has been revealed that tickets for this month's hotly-anticipated Girls Aloud concert at the Abbey are being sold on unofficial websites for more than 100 - even though tickets are still currently available for 28.

The sites give concert-goers the impression that tickets are only available at the grossly inflated prices.

But concert promoters Musical Associates say the tickets have not yet sold out and issued a warning to anyone who is thinking of buying tickets to the August Bank Holiday bash at the Abbey to make sure that they are buying tickets from authorised ticket sellers.

Promoters have accused unofficial agencies and auctions of "deceiving and defrauding" fans.

One of the sites on which the tickets have appeared is getmein.com, which is presently offering Girls Aloud Battle Abbey tickets at 93.50, with a hefty 16.47 handling charge, which does not include post and packaging.

American-based tickettransaction2.com is also offering Battle Abbey concert tickets at a jaw-dropping $912, including postage and packing.

Musical Associates says a new anti-touting law for the 2012 London Olympics should be extended to all events.

Touting is currently only illegal at football matches to prevent hooliganism.

Some unofficial online sellers have come under fire for not delivering paid-for tickets or providing a different venue or date.

Sally Oakley, director of Secure tickets, part of the Telesecure Group Ltd who officially sells tickets for and on behalf of the concert promoters at Battle, said: "The internet has only aggravated the problem because it's given everybody the potential to re-sell tickets.

"Many people wrongly believe that these concerts have sold out.

"Every day we get calls from customers who believe they could only purchase tickets online at these ridiculously inflated prices and in some cases people do not receive tickets or when they do - tickets have been found to be replicated and duped concert-goers have to pay again.

"We have also experience of touts selling on the street prior to a concert in other areas, praying on fans with void or photocopied tickets.

"My advice is never purchase from touts. All tickets are coded and will immediately alert security who has an invalid ticket."

Tickets are still available for the Battle Abbey concerts scheduled for Saturday August 23 and Sunday August 24, priced at just 28 for Girls Aloud and 29 for the annual Flying Proms Spectacular, with 'pay your child's age' tickets at the proms.

The proms tickets are proving popular in the area as the concert returns to its original formula.

Conductor and ever-exuberant showman Jae Alexander is back after a two year absence to conduct the English National Orchestra, along with old sparring partner, talented tenor from the Welsh National Opera, Wynne Evans

Also returning in the first part of the concert programme is Flight Lieutenant Charles Brown in a WW2 spitfire dramatic aerial display.

Official tickets can be purchased from Battle Tourist Information Centre, online at www.maconcerts.co.uk or via the ticket hotline on 0871 271 6149.