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Madonna Draws Fire Over Official Secondary Ticket Market Vendor

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Madonna's decision to go with secondary ticket marketplace Viagogo as her "official" secondary ticket vendor hasn't panned out as smoothly as she might have hoped.

Madge made headlines when she became the first major artist to sign with a secondary ticket vendor for her upcoming "Hard Candy" tour but as tickets for her tourdates are starting to crop up on "unofficial" sites such as Seatwave and eBay, she has drawn criticism for the plan. The latest coming from live music lobbying organisation the Resale Rights Society has launched an attack against the "mounting chaos" over the situation.

According to the RSS, this is not good news for the consumer. RRS claims that in some cases Viagogo offers the best value deals, but in others it offers among the worst, but in both cases it is able to market itself as an "official" partner of Madonna.

They give two examples: General Admission standing tickets. These are still available from the official primary ticket agency Ticketmaster for £75, but Viagogo lists them at up to £196.

Official hospitality "Candy Shop" tickets. Viagogo is the official seller of these tickets which include a champagne reception, three course meal with wine and coffee, complimentary bar during the pre-show hospitality and one hour post show party in a private suite at the concert venue. Viagogo still has these packages available at £550, but its rival Seatwave is selling them at £999 each.

RRS chairman-designate Marc Marot said, "This sorry mess shows that even an artist as powerful as Madonna is not able to control the chaos in the ticketing market."

"Viagogo cannot have it both ways. They are either an official legitimate partner of the artist or they are attempting to take fans for whatever they can get. If they are an official part of the Madonna tour they should not be selling tickets in the secondary market when primary tickets are available for less than half the price from Ticketmaster."

In a statement, Eric Baker, CEO Viagogo, responds: "This RRS announcement highlights their own redundancy. Madonna will receive a percentage from the tickets resold without adding the fan tax. Presumably Marc Marot is unhappy as he will not have the opportunity to take a cut of this percentage for his society.

"We've always worked for the fan but now we're finding solutions across the board for the artist and the industry. The Madonna Viagogo partnership is a perfect example of how the secondary ticketing industry and the music industry can work well together, exactly as was encouraged by the recent U.K. government report." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers