“There’s been no delay,” he mentioned. “This laws was handed round 18 months in the past. We make designations occasion by occasion and this designation was made again in October of 2018 inside days of the request coming in from the comedy competition.”
Pakula claimed Friday’s announcement would result in a discount within the variety of grossly-inflated Melbourne Comedy Competition tickets being bought on third-party web sites equivalent to Viagogo. He promised the federal government would come down arduous on these discovered to be breaching the legislation, no matter whether or not they’re a enterprise or particular person.
“Victoria Police and authorised officers can have a full suite of powers to cope with those that could be ticket scalping,” he mentioned. “That is the most important ticketed occasion in Victoria. Now we have to present the comedy competition each software we are able to.
“We would like folks to have the ability to get pleasure from Melbourne’s vary of sporting and main occasions. We do not need folks to be ripped off. There’s all the time going to be some individuals who attempt to discover a loophole or attempt to make a fast buck.”
MICF director Susan Provan mentioned she was “thrilled” the competition had been granted main occasion standing given it attracts nearly 800,000 guests yearly.
“Comedians, like musicians, actually care about their followers,” she mentioned. “They really need … to make their exhibits accessible. We did have a number of issues final 12 months through the comedy competition with folks coming to us and saying, ‘How come there’s solely these costly tickets left?’
“Additionally, the concern about a number of tickets being bought for the one seat in a theatre. It is an amazing initiative. We’ll be capable to proceed, a minimum of, with authorized recourse to battle these sorts of incidents.”
Final 12 months, Melbourne Comedy Competition performer and tv character Kitty Flanagan urged folks to “say no to Viagogo”. The ticket-reseller is among the most complained-about companies in Australia.
“Please don’t get scammed,” the comic mentioned. “Viagogo are ticket scalpers. The tix … are stupidly priced and won’t be honoured by the venues I am enjoying [at].
“Simply say no to Viagogo. Significantly, folks. If you are going to pay that a lot cash, name me direct. I am going to come round to your home and do a present in your lounge!”
The Melbourne Comedy Competition has beforehand warned patrons to steer clear of websites like Viagogo, saying festivalgoers ought to solely buy tickets via authorized resellers, which don’t all the time seem on the high of a Google search.
The Australian competitors watchdog has urged prospects who’ve purchased tickets from unauthorised resellers to contact their bank card firm for a refund.
Broede Carmody is an leisure reporter at The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald