“Avoid the disappointment and don’t buy from unauthorised sources.”

We know how it feels to want to go to a gig so badly you’d practically spend your life savings on a ticket (we’re looking at you, Ed Sheeran).

But some fans are paying a premium for Dubai’s most sought-after concerts – only to rock up and discover their tickets are invalid.

It’s an issue that has been highlighted by 117 Live, which brought Justin Bieber, Guns N’ Roses, and Bryan Adams to Dubai this year, and is also behind the upcoming Ed Sheeran, Jennifer Lopez and Elton John concerts.

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In a Twitter post, the events company shared its concern that unsuspecting fans have been purchasing tickets to the sold-out Ed Sheeran concert on reselling websites like Viagogo.

The warning comes as Viagogo is being taken to court by Australia’s consumer watchdog for misleading customers and failing to disclose its “significant and unavoidable fees” in the ticket price, The Guardian reports.

We got in touch with 117 Live chief executive officer Thomas Oveseen, who elaborated on what is meant by an “authorised seller”.

“We are keen to warn customers of the practice by some online vendors and secondary ticketing companies as we still see fans getting in trouble with paying excessive fees, purchasing fake tickets or buying what they are led to believe is a real ticket, only to realise it isn’t when being rejected entry at the event,” he said.


Oveseen explained the problem with sites like Viagogo is they are able to purchase top positions on search engines, so they show up among the first results when fans search for concert tickets (in some cases even higher than the official sellers).

These sites will then either sell you a heavily inflated ticket, or a ticket they have bought from others, which then puts you (the buyer) in breach of the general ticketing terms and conditions which state that no on-sale or transfer of the ticket is allowed.

Sometimes, these sites don’t even have the actual tickets available – but they will still take your money, leaving you with a fake ticket receipt.

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“Having bought the fake ticket or having been ripped off by an ‘overseas’ ticketing company means that in most cases, you will not even get your money back, and so what was supposed to be a great and fun event turns into a proper nightmare,” Oveseen said.

“So, we cannot stress enough that it matters where you purchase your tickets – if the price appears to be high, then you probably should not buy it, or if you have heard the event is sold-out then you should not trust any sources claiming to be able to facilitate tickets.”

Oveseen said all 117 Live tickets are advertised and sold via 117live.com, and if you press the “buy now” link via the site, you will only ever be directed to an authorised ticketing partner.

“For recent capacity events, we have had several fans running up with invalid tickets, many of them in good faith believing they had purchased real and valid admissions,” he said.

“Avoid the disappointment, and don’t buy from unauthorised sources.”

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