Anger as Westminster residents miss out on ‘goodwill’ Rolling Stones tickets to Hyde Park gig
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
A “goodwill gesture” by the organisers of this summer’s sell-out Rolling Stones’ concert at Hyde Park has blown up in their faces after advance tickets offered to residents sold out in seconds.
Westminster Council emailed 50,000 residents telling them they could get their hands on a limited number of tickets a day before they went on general sale this morning. But the offer soon turned sour when eager local Stones fans logged on to the pre-sale website a 9am yesterday to find they were already sold out, despite prices ranging from £95 to £299.
The council emailed residents after concert promoter AEG offered them a batch of pre-sale tickets for the 65,000-capacity show as a goodwill gesture.
But they were soon complaining after failing to get hold of any despite logging on at 9am on the dot.
One resident said: “This is a joke – and Westminster should know better. Why not ask would-be buyers to quote their council tax number before tickets can be issued – that would have sorted out at least some of the ‘scalpers’?”
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Another asked whether AEG only allocated “a handful to Westminster to pacify the residents?”
Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg, leader of Westmisnter’s Labour opposition, said: “Making this offer to tens of thousands of residents if there were only a few hundred tickets available was not sensible. I know you can’t always get what you want but missing out on the Stones tickets is enough to give anyone their 19th nervous breakdown.”
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It is not clear how many tickets were offered in the pre-sale for residents, nor how AEG was planning on ensuring they went only to bona fide residents of the borough.
The Stones themselves came under fire today when the ticket prices were revealed. Above the top-price £299 standing ticket, which attracts around £30 in booking fees, the band was offering “luxury diamond circle” tickets for £8,487 per person. In contrast The Stones were recently announced as headliners at Glastonbury this summer, where tickets cost £205 for the entire three-day festival.
And they last played Hyde Park 44 years ago when they treated 500,000 to a free concert in tribute to their former guitarist, the late Brian Jones.
A Westminster City Council spokesman said: “As a goodwill gesture music promoter AEG provided an allocation of pre-sale tickets for Westminster residents.
“Like any concert of this magnitude it was always going to be a sell-out. And this limited offer could never guarantee tickets but it could offer people a better chance to get tickets before they went on general sale.
“Such was the popularity of the first round of tickets for sale that a second round was put up later in the afternoon. The pre-sale tickets were promoted in an email to 50,000 residents who have signed up to receive updates from Westminster Council.”