Hong Kong comedian and actor Dayo Wong Tze-wah must be over the moon to see the tickets to his farewell performance gone in just a few hours.
The 57-year-old Wong, known for his unique style of stand-up comedy, is scheduled to perform 26 shows, nine more than originally planned, at the Hong Kong Coliseum in July.
Wong decided to stage the nine extra shows to meet the huge demand and that means an additional 150,000 tickets went on sale on Tuesday.
A lot of people had already queued up long before the ticket outlets opened at 10 a.m. A source said the tickets for the nine extra shows were sold out in seven hours.
Many fans blamed the quick depletion of the tickets on ticket scalping syndicates, who hired large numbers of people to queue up overnight at the ticket outlets, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
At 11 a.m., one hour after sales began, some of the tickets were seen being put up for sale on several websites and Facebook groups for as much as HK$10,000 each. The sellers claim they are for premium seats.
The original prices of the tickets ranged from HK$280 to HK$880.
A self-confessed fan named Vincent said he wanted very much to buy a ticket but could not access the ticketing website from 10 a.m. onwards. Still, he said, he would follow Wong’s advice and never buy tickets from scalpers.
The Dayo Wong case has prompted calls for the government to enhance regulations to deter scalpers from ruining the public’s access to concerts and shows.
Earlier this month, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor asked the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) to review the Places of Public Entertainment Ordinance to see if its provisions against ticket scalping can be applied to government venues such as Hong Kong Coliseum and Queen Elizabeth Stadium.
The government is also considering imposing more serious penalties for those who violate the ordinance as well as studying the feasibility of changing the current practice, which requires up to 80 percent of the tickets to events at government venues to be reserved for sponsors’ consignment, so that more tickets will be directly available to the public.
The LCSD is trying out a real-name system for ticket buyers to minimize ticket scalping.
But lawmaker Ma Fung-kwok, who represents the functional constituency of sports, performing arts, culture and publication, said such a system is hard to implement and will increase costs.
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