Tickets for a live talk between Michelle Obama and Chimanda Ngozi Adichie are being sold for as much as £70,000 on Viagogo. Although the event, which is to be held at London's Royal Festival Hall on 3 December, was expected to be popular, demand for tickets has surpassed expectations having sold out within minutes.
The Southbank Centre, home to the Royal Festival Hall, has said it has asked Viagogo to remove the tickets from its site, after the online marketplace began selling them for extortionate prices, from £4,000 to £72,000. Viagogo typically takes a 25 per cent cut from its sales. Tickets initially went on sale for between £30 and £125.
The venue stipulated that tickets sold by unauthorised third parties will be cancelled and invalid for entry.
“We are aware that a small number of tickets to this event have appeared on third-party resale sites,” a Southbank Centre spokesperson told the . “We take secondary ticketing very seriously and aim to discourage this by stipulating that tickets should not be resold for profit or commercial gain.
“If we find tickets on sale without our authorisation by any unauthorised third parties they are identified and cancelled.”
Buyers were placed in an online waiting room at 8am, before the tickets went on sale at 10am. Some arrived at sunrise at the Southbank venue for a better chance of securing a seat.
Obama will talk about , which goes on sale on 13 November.