The Golden Globe-winning comedian announced last week he was performing two warm-up gigs in Tunbridge Wells on March 27 and March 28 to ready himself for his 2019-2020 SuperNature world tour
The tickets went on sale on Thursday at 10am at the Assembly Hall, causing the box office website to crash due to the unprecedented demand.
The Assembly Hall then confirmed that all tickets for the two mid-week shows had sold out within an hour from when they went on sale, leaving many Gervais fans in the town disheartened.
However, within minutes, touts began offering tickets to see the stand-up comedian at the Assembly Hall at exorbitant prices, with websites such as StubHub and Viagogo listing prices for tickets for Gervais’ Tunbridge Wells shows as high as £417. This is 18 times their face value.
Disappointed Gervais fan, Andrew Elliot, took to Twitter to vent his frustration at the Assembly Hall over the prices touts were reselling the tickets for.
He said. “The tickets were on sale 20 minutes after at these prices—so well done on selling to touts.”
Gervais is the biggest name to play the Assembly Hall in some years, and the news that touts have been profiteering from ticket sales will come as a blow to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, which runs the theatre, especially as they intend to open a new 1200 seat theatre next to Calverley Grounds, which is hoped will attract more big names to the town.
JJ Almond, Theatre Director at the Assembly Hall said the secondary ticket market is a challenge for the entire entertainment industry
He said: “We share the frustration of genuine fans who are unable to see shows because tickets have been snapped up, and then see them online at hugely inflated prices.
“Our advice is to only ever buy tickets from the venue direct or a legitimate reseller.
“If customers choose to purchase tickets from a third party that is not legitimate they risk not being granted entry to the venue—at any venue—and losing the money they paid for the tickets.”
He added: “Ricky Gervais purchases were limited to four tickets per account/transaction in order to minimise mass purchasing by ticket resellers and an allocation was also on sale through TicketMaster.”