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eBay bans resale of Gord Downie tickets

Listings for Downie's show in Halifax will not appear on StubHub or Kijiji, as the sites "don't want to be associated with the reselling of tickets to that event"

By IQ on 21 Nov 2016

Gord Downie, House of Blues, Chicago, 2015, Aven Hoffarth

Downie at the House of Blues Chicago in 2015

image © Aven Hoffarth

Perhaps mindful of the criticism levelled at Viagogo last month for ‘callously profiteering’ from a charitable Peter Kay show, eBay has announced it will remove listings for Gord Downie’s upcoming concert in Halifax, Nova Scotia, from its StubHub and Kijiji sites.

The Tragically Hip frontman Downie, who has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, will play the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium (1,023-cap.) on 29 November in aid in support of his fifth solo album, Secret Path, for which proceeds will be donated to his charitable Gord Downie Secret Path Fund for Truth and Reconciliation.

The show, promoted by Sonic Concerts, sold out within minutes, and tickets began appearing on StubHub and classified-ads site Kijiji shortly after.

However, a notice on StubHub now reads: “StubHub has learned this show is a charitable event supporting Mr Downie’s Secret Path Fund for Truth and Reconciliation. Out of respect for the charitable intent of this event, we are not allow listings for this show. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, and we thank you for your understanding.”

“We didn’t want to be associated with the reselling of the tickets to that event, so we just removed them”

Kijiji Canada’s communications manager, Shawn MacIntyre, tells CBC resellers will also barred from listing tickets on Kijiji. While acknowledging the company “want[s] to have a free market wherever possible, where people aren’t breaking the law”, MacIntyre says Kijiji/StubHub “didn’t want to be associated with the reselling of the tickets to that event, so we just removed them.”

The Tragically Hip’s farewell Man Machine Poem tour, the final show of which was watched on TV by one in three Canadians, was marred by a national scandal over the number of primary tickets that appeared on secondary ticketing sites, leading to accusations that fans were being “shut out” of the farewell shows.

After a Q3 in which it sold US$1.1 billion worth of tickets, StubHub told IQ the primary market – which still largely releases tickets in bulk at a specified time – is primarily to blame for the huge growth of secondary ticketing. “The current on-sale model is very traditional, and it’s clear that the primary market is not functioning as well as it could,” said spokeswoman Aimee Bateas. “For example, could artists drip-feed face-value tickets onto the market in regular intervals, rather than just one frantic on-sale window at 9am on a Friday?”


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