I have received an e-mailed response to my complaint from Bradford Council.
The paragraph that I have highlighted completely glosses over the facts that: -
- the organisers and selling agents are the very same local government rganisation
- the tourist office premises and personnel are employed full time, whether they sell festival tickets or not
- the tickets are not available at the advertised and printed price
Thank you for your email regarding the ticketing at Bingley Music Live.
Bingley Music Live sets the ticket price as it sees appropriate to manage the festival and provide a 3 day programme of entertainment at a reasonable cost to the public. This is the face value of the ticket.
Unfortunately, the team that manage the festival do not have the means or resources to sell tickets directly to the public and as such sell tickets via a variety of ticketing agents. Agents include See Tickets as an on-line agent and other 'over the counter' agents which include a number of private businesses as well as some Council outlets that have facilities for dealing with cash and card transactions. These other Council facilities are not related to the department that organise Bingley Music Live.
None of the ticketing agents are in a position to sell tickets at just face value hence why they charge a booking/handling fee to cover their time and administration in selling the tickets. This includes the Council outlets who are selling tickets on our behalf and have associated costs in doing so.
We request that no ticketing agent charges any more than 10% of the face value of the ticket in line with the on-line agent. The indication of a booking fee is clearly advertised on the Bingley Music Live website, on all printed promotional material and on the tickets themselves.
Booking fees applied to tickets by ticketing agents is standard practice. Some examples include:
Weekend Ticket - £99.50 + £11.94
Weekend Ticket - £185 + £10.95
Weekend (no camping) - £160 + £10.15
Weekend Ticket - £202.50 + £8
Day - £90 + £7
We do operate an on-site ticket office at Myrtle Park over the festival weekend. Tickets at this location do not include a booking fee but are priced at a higher rate. This is common practice to encourage advance sales but also to cover the costs of resourcing the ticket office and providing infrastructure costs. Advance notice to customers regarding 'on the day' ticket costs will be publicised nearer the event.
Thank you for your comments, as with all correspondence we receive it will be fed into our post event de-brief and considered in planning for the 2014 festival.