back to article Zep promoter piles into eBay

Veteran promoter Harvey Goldsmith, who's handling Led Zeppelin's forthcoming renunion gig at London's O2 Arena, is a little hacked off with eBay after tickets for the show inevitably popped up on the world's favourite tat bazaar. According to the Guardian, Goldsmith slammed eBay as "the biggest rip-off merchants in the world" …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Pot.. Kettle....

    £125 for basically seeing LZ play for part of a concert isn't a rip off?

  2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Bloody music industry

    They really think they make us all eternally obliged to them for their mere divine existence, don't they?

    He should thank the real God for being able to sell his tickets to watch a couple of brainwashed acid-damaged geriatrics, feebly strumming their guitars and coaxing sounds out of electric keyboards with their weakening fingers, at all (saying this as a fan of Led Zeppelin's OLD music).

    Who that schmuck thinks he is for saying to people who legitimately got his bloody tickets that they can't change their mind and sell them??? Or is it that he is pissed that the tickets are sold for more than he got in the first place - well that's just tough and that's how life is.

    These bastards though think that the life is not good enough for them so that they can rewrite the rules as they think fit...

  3. zarniwoop

    Not a rip-off

    Anonymous Coward, firstly the concert is in aid of charity, so the band won't be getting paid, and secondly, LZ will be playing for 2 hours, which is a whole concert by anyone's standards, and the extra acts are just a bonus.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How can he throw his toys out of the pram about ebay, where buyers determine the price, when he's doing ticketing for this event though RipoffMaster.

    Anyone know what their booking fee is for this gig?

  5. Neil


    He does realise that Ebay aren't actually the ones selling the tickets, right?

    Isn't that like blaming the land owner that a shopping center is built on, rather than the shops themselves if your new washing machine isn't working?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £125 ... isn't a rip off?

    No, it's not, otherwise they wouldn't get sold on e-bay for more.

    Which begs the question why do they sell them below the market value?

    Because they want a full gig for the atmosphere (maybe) because those that go will buy T-shirts, CD's, and are more likely to show up at future events...

    So in fact it is the promoters who are manipulating the market, deliberately selling below value to acquire future revenues.

    In a true open market, all things would be sold by auction, to the person willing to pay the most for the item, that's how capitalist societies work.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    too right.

    Oh look. A very rich man who has made a fortune fleecing music fans is cross about a bunch of miserable pikeys who like to fleece music fans.

    A poc on them both. With an additional nasty rash for the presumably insanely rich Led Zep who don't really need to charge that much for tickets.

    (Oh. and these icons are shit)

  8. Ash

    I'll wait for the tour, thanks

    What's the betting they "enjoy the experience so much" and "really missed playing their old classics", and decide to tour the UK, maybe US?

    If not... Hey, i'll listen to the albums. The sound will be better anyway.

  9. mark
    Thumb Down


    I'm all for preventing ticket touting, but when promoters make moves to block what is morally legitimate transfer of tickets between friends at face value (i.e. if someone can't make the gig) then they themselves become the rip off merchants.

    When tickets for some gigs go on sale 6 months in advance, how the hell am I to know if I'm not going to be able to make it due to a wedding/family shindig/work crisis, etc.

    Of course, it's nice to think that you'll make every effort to attend a gig, but if there's a legitimate reason why you later decide you can't make it, the current obstructive measures make the promoters no less of a rip off merchant. Plenty of independent ticket sellers (e.g. wegottickets) allow for the re-allocation of tickets to other named individuals - but none of the big players do.

    Ticketmaster keep talking about implementing a system to allow people to re-sell tickets if they can't go to a gig. How about actually implementing the damn thing instead of hypothesising?

  10. Harry
    Thumb Down

    Ticketed off

    "Isn't that like blaming the land owner that a shopping center is built on, rather than the shops themselves if your new washing machine isn't working?"

    Not really, because the landowner plays no part in the procedings. Even if the landowner died, the customer would still have received a defective machine if the manufacturer made it that way or the installer dropped it before delivery.

    Ebay on the other hand turns every single cog of the ebay machine and makes every decision about what sellers can sell and buyers can buy. Ebay could stop turning any one of those cogs, and make the problem go away altogether.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cunning scam?

    The article links to the Ebay item but a little digging around turned up as well. Different sellers but strangely similar stories and wording. Now that would be a cunning scam, sell both tickets individually with a promise to accompany on the night and then scarper with the proceeds.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rip-off at any price

    Many, many years ago I was taken to see Page & Plant as a birthday treat. Having been a Led Zep fan for yonks I was greatly disappointed for all the reasons Vladimir Plouzhnikov stated.

    A reformed Led Zep is basically Page & Plant some 10+ years older. I know how coaxing code out of keyboards with weakening fingers feel and look forward to the day when I can put my feet up on a meagre pension. P&P have got millions more than I have and perhaps they should do the same and leave us with the memory of the classics they have created.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whinge Whinge Whinge..

    Let's see. If a genuine fan is willing to spend 125 quid on a ticket then that is between him and his financial advisor, so no rip off there then.

    If an opportunist is lucky enough to "win" the option of a ticket or two and does so in order to sell them on to the highest bidder then that is a rip off. Whether you consider they are ripping off the promoter or the genuine music fan is up to you.

    If Ebay aids and abets the opportunist then they are effectively aiding and abetting the rip off. Actually, with the dominance of Ebay and it's unwillingness to do anything about these things, it is more actively encouraging than aiding and abetting.

    What is it with the world these days. Just because you can does not mean you should. I support what Harvey Goldsmith is doing. If you didn't "win" the tickets then you are not entitled to them, it is as simple as that.

  14. Geoff Mackenzie

    Pro ticket touting

    Aside from the minor offence of artificially inflating demand (and therefore prices) for tickets by creating scarcity as they buy up stock, I don't really see what ticket touts are doing wrong. Auction winners pay what they're willing to part with. That's commerce. Preventing ticket touting is just mercantilist protectionism.

  15. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    I don't understand, honestly

    What's wrong with ticket touting? Why is it OK to sell a ticket at face value but not OK to sell it at a mark-up? And should anyone ask the promoter before doing it? - After all he has already got paid as much as he asked for, right?

  16. Steve Ringham

    6 of one ...half dozen of the other

    The promoter of an event is perfectly entitled to make up whatever T & C's they care for, as long as it doesn't break the law i.e. "You must take drugs in order to attend.." So if it states no resale or transfer, that's what it means.

    Where promoters and ticket agencies do f**k us over is when they then state no refunds or returns. what are we supposed to do.

    However, Ebay is a pox for concert goers, particularly if you live in a major city and especially in London.

    In the old days, you knew you could go to a gig on the night and pick a ticket or two off the scalpers at an inflated price of course. But the touts' only outlet was at the venue on the night.

    However now, due to Ebay, every one can be a tout without having to do the hard work.

    Whoever is responsible for ticket sales then compound the issue by putting tickets on sale at stupid times - 9.00am on a Friday is typical. Genuine fans are all at work at that time and can't afford to sit at the computer for an hour trying to book tickets. But the touts can.

    And Ebay doesn't even apply it's own rules, let alone anyone else's requests. It's own T & Cs state that transactions must be completed in 30 days - tickets are being offered immediately when they won't delivered for months.

  17. Ian Damage

    Easy Solution...

    Australian sporting events have had a facility in place for years for dealing with scalpers who use ebay and other auctions/classifieds to make a profit.

    Find out the seat number(s), and cancel the ticket. Finding out the seat number isnt that hard, as they would have to tell you so you know if its worth the price.

    Warnings are given before, during, and after the tickets are released for sale that scalpers will be dealt with in this manner.

    This still allows for the legitimate transfer of tickets between friends, or a quick sale to a stranger at cost price outside the gig in case of a no-show.

  18. C


    1) This gig is for charity. Led Zep will not be paid for it, neither will Mr Goldsmith.

    2) eBay directly profit from tickets being sold on. If they had a responsible attitude towards these things, they would allow the tickets to be sold, but only if all proceeds go to charity. Everyone wins then.

    3) If you so much as mention some words in an auction, it is automatically pulled. This is because eBay are terrified of law suits from the "big designer labels".

    4) As this is a charity event, they know they won't be touched. They could sort this out, but choose not to and by their inaction, they profit.

  19. Bryce Prewitt

    This is why the industry is in the state its in.

    You lame-ass tits complain when scalpers buy up all the tickets.

    You then complain when someone tries to prevent all the scalpers from buying the tickets.

    No wonder the industry is broken. It's being run by people every bit as stupid as those it serves.

  20. Tim Croydon

    Gig attendance points scheme

    I regularly attend gigs (generally of the rock/metal variety). I invariably find the best gigs are the ones with a more involved/interested crowd rather than the well-publicised popular gigs where people go because of the hype rather than as a fan.

    Therefore, I propose the introduction of a 'points' system, where you have to follow several smaller bands round crap venues for a while to prove your commitment to real music before you earn enough points to see bigger, 'name' bands (such as U2, Stones, Led Zeppelin).

    If I had the chance to go to a Wimbledon final, or FA Cup final (both of which I have nearly zero interest in) I would feel guilty about taking the chance of seeing the event from a genuine fan. Unfortunately it all comes down to whether you are comfortable selling/buying an item (ticket, in this case) that has potential emotional attachments.

  21. simon warren

    Rich capitalist

    crying about a free market ...

    *** insert worlds smallest violin gag here ***

  22. andy gibson

    stop it at the source

    £125 for a ticket. Surely for that price Harvey Globetrotter or whatever his name is could come up with a system to prevent the ticket being re-sold.

    If he wants to stop touting, he should do it at the source, not whinge at lapses further down the line.

  23. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Re: Facts

    "1) This gig is for charity. Led Zep will not be paid for it, neither will Mr Goldsmith."

    This is defninitely NOT a fact. Mr Goldsmith won't be paid? Ho ho ho. Like he wasn't paid for Live Aid and Live 8 and Live Earth and whatever...

    He is called a "promoter". Promoter's job is to promote. And get paid for it. Otherwise it won't be a job. And he won't be a "promoter".

  24. Robert Ramsay

    It's obvious!

    ...all we have to do is put an RFID chip in the ticket and link it to your biometric government provided ID!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Price Gouging...

    I wonder if any member of the group becomes ill, or is just having a 'bad' night, and produces a sub-par performance, if this 'holier than thou' promoter would offer the paying suckers, sorry, I mean paying audience, any sort of a refund or discount? Do you think? Nah!! LONG LIVE EBAY!!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Facts about charity gigs

    "This gig is for charity. Led Zep will not be paid for it, neither will Mr Goldsmith"

    My experience of charity events is that proceeds go to charity AFTER expenses have been paid for. Led Zep and Mr Goldsmith will be paid expenses like cost of travelling to and from the gig in their private jets and personal pampering. OK, so they don't take any money after the gig.

    Well, bloody hell, I would go to work for a couple of hours for nothing if my boss flew me halfway across the world with limo service, put me up in a 5-star hotel with an equally 5-star meal, loads of women to shag and as much recreational pharmaceutical and drink as I can handle.

    Furthermore so my other business is a limo service and they charge £10K for a night's work and my boss will be using them to ferry me around that night.

    No such thing as a free lunch (or gig) I am afraid, charity or otherwise.

  27. Lukin Brewer

    @ Gig attendance points scheme

    Didn't they do that for the Proms? You had to retain proof that you had attended a certain number of the more pedestrian concerts if you wanted to be admitted to the Last Night.

    BTW, will these points (Live Unkempt Unregarded Rock Venue Enthusiast points? LUURVE Points?) be awarded to the people who are performing on stage at these venues, or selling CDs for the band, or coaxing their superannuated mixing desk through yet another gig. Will there be bonuses for people who buy the CDs, or write up the performance for a 'zine? Will there be penalties for directors of the big music companies(TM), such that they will never be able to attend a live performance ever again?

  28. C Wall

    Vodka is the Devil...

    It killed John Bonham.... who's playing drums for this gig?

  29. Colin Wilson


    "2) eBay directly profit from tickets being sold on."

    You mean to say that Ticketmaster *won't* be charging a booking fee and excessive amounts for postage on top of that ?

  30. David Neil

    @ C Wall

    It's his lad, Jason, who will be playing the drums.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Well well well...

    I worked in that biz for decades and I can assure you that although they may not get 'fees' they all get paid for expenses. Fair enough, there's a big effort to keep these to a miminum (including paying crew less than usual "it's for charity lads..."). But one thing you can be assured of is that outside of the event itself increased sales, promotions, merchandise etc because of the publicity generated, means increased profits to go back to the labels, promoters and, yes, the bands themselves.

    I know Goldsmith of old and I really don't like him - in fact, not many people do! I won't say anymore otherwise the comment will be pulled.

    Zep certainly don't need the money. But Plant and Page are two weird f*ckers. In some ways it'll be interesting to see them but at £125 a pop? No thanks.

    Now the Cream concert last year... :-))

  32. Sean Ellis

    why didn't harvey auction the tickets himself?

    would've made a whole lotta more lucre for charidee...

  33. Blackred
    Thumb Up

    So thousands of people...

    ...turn up, get pissed, take drugs, fall about, and they're all carrying their credit cards and photo ID you say?

    I feel a scam coming on.

  34. Sceptical Bastard

    From the hearse's mouth

    Quote: "I know Goldsmith of old and I really don't like him - in fact, not many people do! I won't say anymore otherwise the comment will be pulled."

    Why mince your words? My day job is in IT but I've also worked in music promotion on and off for many years. Harvey Goldsmith is generally regarded as a loudmouthed bullying scumbag. In my (very limited) dealings with him years back, I found him to be a money-grabbing shit.

    Quote: ""This gig is for charity. Led Zep will not be paid for it, neither will Mr Goldsmith." As several other comments make clear, bands do very well indeed out of these 'charity' gigs. And I somehow doubt Goldsmith will be doing anything out of the goodness of his heart.

    Robert Plant isn't "a weird fucker" as someone suggests. I've met him socially on several ocassions and he's a very affable old Brummie. In fact, he's surprisingly sane for someone who received that much adulation as a young man. Sadly, though, his voice is shot, especially in the high register - I know because I watched him perform a ninety-minute set at a festival a couple of years back with a scratch band called Priory of Brion or somesuch. Embarrassing.

  35. Scott Mckenzie


    So many miss the point of the charity bit... sure the band etc won't get paid directly, but yes after expenses they'll do ok, but to speculate that Led Zep need any more coverage than they currently get, even if they do have a new album out is a bit daft.

    They could release a pan pipes version of their back catalogue and every Zep fan would buy it.

    Intrigued to know why Robert is a weird fucker, seems a quite normal chap given his status and what he spent more of the sixties and seventies doing, christ he shops at Waitrose, drives an Audi and enjoys music - seems pretty normal?

  36. James
    Thumb Up


    I don't see the problem - don't our mobile operators, phone providers, petrol companies, government tax scams etc... etc.... etc.... all do much worse?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Glad I saw 'em when they were affordable...

    Saw them for the Physical Graffitti tour in '75 -- paid 8 bucks for the ticket.

    @ profiteering on tickets, gouging, etc.: This isn't like someone's being screwed for something that is a necessity (electricity, petrol, etc.). Charge what the market will bear -- even if that means I won't likely get in. If too many can't get in, the prices will adjust.

    You can't rape the willing...

  38. Anonymous Coward

    stolen or counterfeit

    ebay will offer the usual stolen and counterfeit goods at whatever the people who snipe on there will pay, or sellers will only have two and sell pictures of those a thousand times no one will get their tickets and it will be the usual something for nothing brigade bitching up a storm though they should know better by now. I have wanted this fencing service shut down for a long time now too bad the government is too corrupt to stop them.

  39. Fragula The Furry

    Rip Off

    Speaking as someone who has been a devotee of the Led Zep sound since 1969,, all albums owner, even the pink "untitled" with lyriced inner sleve, of an original Zep 1 Ampex Reel-Reel tape!

    Who can play Black Mountain Side with the fiddly bits that Page could only play on good days. Who played Zep II to the kids in the womb. As someone who recenrly had a petition to No.10 Downing street requesting /free/ honors for Zeppelin Members present and past for /fucking bizzare/ reasoning on behalf of the spin-droid at tother end. Well I feel I can speak. ;-/

    This is a right fiasco,and achieves little other than plastering the band and Goldsmith with the stink of bullshit.

    Just ignoring the £125 ticket price.... And the "booking fee" (don't get me started on those /please/)

    Need internet.. Yeh.. Keep out those luddite greenies and hippies with no PC.. (Oh.. and was it a Windows Only or Mac Only site??? If it had /worked at all/ I guess I could have told ya..)

    The web site didn't work. Not for me. And Yes. Very fast internet and my own web cache timings. Not a chance! Inadequate and /borked/ to anyone more than a few hops away on the net. Keep away anyone from outside the home counties.

    Credit Card holders only. Well that rules out all those stinking long haired hippies and starving-but-working musicians right? I'm still ignoring the £125+"booking fee" price.

    Photo ID holders only. Ohh.. this is just /way/ too fucking silly. So if you are happy to gob over all your personal information to George Bush, you can go to a Led Zep gig.

    Is this a drinking venue? Under 18s??? Oh well I can't go without my daughter, (and none of those stinking single parents either...) and she's 15 at the mo. Will be 16 then but.. Ohh..So I could shit miracles, jump through all the fucking hoops, mug myself for £250 sobs, go to the Great White Elephant Tent which I've already fucking /paid for/, probably twice. Then get told to fuck off by the bouncers cos my daughter isnt /whateverarbitraryagehasbeenset/

    All /way/ to fucking silly I can't be arsed thinking about that.

    So fuck it, as they say in the trade. I'll leave credit card and password in the safe, travel to the back room (music room) instead, If I do decide wanna rock out to some Zeppelin tracks I'll stay home get my guitar out and a few buddies round (shit, with the money I've saved I can call in a couple of session pros! And I can ,more than likely do a better job of it than they can anyway!!

    And I'll be leaving the album in the shops too, and get something from Mister Fish - who at least has some apperance of integrity left in spite of his current "9 T-Shirts" tour, and /has/ released some decent material in the last decad.

    Page, Plant, Jones, Boham Jr. Listen up. My Pram. My Teddie to you! -> <click>

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