WHEN it comes to charity gigs being exploited by profiteers, it’s no laughing matter.
And that’s exactly what has happened to comedian Peter Kay’s nights at Blackpool’s Opera House this week.
No sooner had the gigs sold out, tickets for his Thursday and Friday night shows were back on sale on third party websites – but priced at nearly four times their face value.
Despite his tour being over, the generous funnyman said he felt “compelled” to add two charity gigs to help raise money for four-year-old girl Billie Bainbridge who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain stem tumour in June.
Billie’s family, from Exeter, need to raise more than £200,000, to travel to Texas for clinical trials.
Tickets for the charity gig went on sale yesterday, priced at £35. But greedy touts are now asking for up to £300 for a pair.
Scott Walker, 22, from Bispham, was hoping to go to the gig with his partner but was disappointed to discover some buyers had immediately put the tickets on eBay – and bumped-up the price to pocket some extra cash themselves.
Mr Walker, of Low Moor Road, said: “It’s sick – they are making money out of this girl’s illness. I read the story about her and it really touched me.”
David Gore, marketing manager for Crown Entertainment Centres Ltd which operates the Winter Gardens, said all the tickets for Peter Kay’s shows in Blackpool “were sold in good faith and were limited to only eight per person to prevent anyone buying larger quantities to then sell on at a profit.”
He added: “It is disappointing to learn people have now put the tickets on third party websites at inflated prices and our advice to members of the public is to not buy these tickets at higher than the face value of £35. If the touts are left with tickets that cannot be sold they may think twice about doing this in the future as they will be losing money.
“We have in the past spoken to the websites concerned but they are reluctant to prevent tickets being sold in this manner. On a positive note, the tickets have all now sold out and thanks to Peter Kay’s generosity the charity will benefit from all monies raised.”