Lorde NZ Tour: 'VIP' tickets on sale for over $1300 on Viagogo for section that doesn't exist

Pre-sale tickets to many of Lorde's New Zealand tour dates sold out fast, but controversial ticket marketplace Viagogo is listing 'VIP' tickets for over $1300 - despite there being no VIP section at the gig. 

Viagogo, which has come up against the NZ Commerce Commission in court and been much maligned by Kiwi promoters, is the first advertisement result when searching 'Lorde tickets' on Google. 

The first 1000 tickets to Lorde's Havelock North event at Black Barn Vineyards, priced at $120, sold out within hours in the pre-sale, with 1000 more available to the public on Monday at midday. In the meantime, two 'General Admission VIP' tickets appeared on Viagogo for a staggering $1354 each. The same ticket type was also on sale for Lorde's Wellington show at Days Bay. 

One of the show's promoters, Brent Eccles of Eccles Entertainment, told the NZ Herald there was "no such thing" as a VIP ticket available for Lorde's Solar Power tour. 

Lorde NZ Tour: 'VIP' tickets on sale for over $1300 on Viagogo for section that doesn't exist
Photo credit: Viagogo

Eccles maintained that there was no guarantee tickets bought from anywhere other than the authorised sellers - Ticketek for New Plymouth and Ticketmaster for all other NZ shows - were legitimate. 

"The problem we have is that people turn up with Viagogo tickets on the day and we can't honour them," Eccles told the Herald. 

"All we can do is encourage people to buy from the approved ticket sites and if they don't then they're taking the responsibility in their own hands, although it does appear that with Viagogo they have some rights when they don't, that's the tragedy of it."

Viagogo has previously insisted it's doing nothing wrong by acting as a marketplace for ticket holders to resell their tickets at what has been dubbed "extortionate" prices. 

The company previously told the Herald all tickets sold on Viagogo were valid, insisting they "do not tolerate any kind of fraudulent activity" on the site. 

"We require that all sellers guarantee their listing with a valid credit card and so if a seller does not adhere to Viagogo policy, they face strict consequences that include fines and most severely, expulsion from the platform," they told the Herald.

"Furthermore, there is also no incentive to list invalid tickets on our website because sellers are not paid until after a buyer has successfully gained entry into the event.

In 2019, Consumer NZ's head of research Jessica Wilson told The AM Show Kiwis "shouldn't go near" the company and it's "bad practices". 

The same year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern pledged to clamp down on ticket scalping, insisting "consumers aren't getting a fair deal".