Since the start of sale in June 2016, the demand for Elbphilharmonie tickets remains incredibly high – this spurs illicit black market traders to offer tickets at elevated prices. Even tickets for concerts that do not even exist or will exist, but haven't yet gone on sale, are offered on the black market.
A current example: the online ticket platform Viagogo is currently offering tickets for sale for the »Concerts for Hamburg« series. Tickets for the »Concerts for Hamburg« were actually only available via ticket registration and delivered to customers by post. Even before the start of the registration period, www.viagogo.de was offering tickets. This is a clear case of so-called short selling, as not a single ticket for the »Concerts for Hamburg« series actually existed at the time. As tickets will be allocated at random, no seller can expect to obtain the tickets offered on Viagogo.
Viagogo has failed to respond to the Elbphilharmonie’s questions or to block the relevant offers of tickets. The attractively-priced tickets for »Concerts for Hamburg«, officially costing €8, €16 and €24, were on offer on Viagogo for up to €1,144 including booking fees.
Most Important Q&As on Black Market
I want to attend a concert at the Elbphilharmonie and have found diverse websites offering tickets. How do I know which websites are official and are selling authentic tickets?
It’s incredibly vital to search and book the tickets for your selected concert at the Elbphilharmonie’s official internet platform (www.elbphilharmonie.com) directly. You may also be redirected to the website of the external promoter via the ticket button, where you can then purchase tickets. If a concert is described as »sold out« at www.elbphilharmonie.com, then you can trust that there are no further official tickets on sale in the public marketplace.
All other tickets that pop up on other websites on the internet are second-hand. If you search for Elbphilharmonie tickets on search machines, the top results are consumer-to-consumer platforms that give the impression of being official ticket shops. In reality, the tickets on these websites are offered by private individuals at often hugely elevated prices.
What is the risk of buying a ticket on a consumer-to-consumer platform such as eBay or Viagogo?
Tickets offered via consumer-to-consumer platforms are usually not for sale at their original prices. The original price is sometimes not visible at first glance, which makes it difficult for customers to estimate the difference in price. The published price is not always the final payment amount: multiple extra costs accumulate during the booking process. On some websites, customers are urged to complete their booking quickly to guarantee the apparently »last remaining tickets«.
Event promoters assume no responsibility for tickets purchased via consumer-to-consumer platforms. In the case of a concert cancellation, the admission price will not be reimbursed to customers that have bought second-hand tickets.
What measures is the Elbphilharmonie taking to prevent the illegal resale of tickets at elevated prices?
A ticket limitation has been put in place to prevent the illegal resale of tickets. A maximum of four tickets per concert and a total of ten tickets may be purchased per customer per transaction for the 2017/18 concert season.
The unauthorised commercial reselling of tickets by individual traders is continuously being legally pursued by the Elbphilharmonie. So-called short selling as well as fraudulent sellers have been reported to the Centres for Consumer and Competitors in Germany (Verbraucherzentrale und der Wettbewerbszentrale) and the Viagogo platform.
I have a ticket, but can no longer make it to the concert. What can I do?
Tickets cannot be refunded or exchanged. You can give your ticket to someone else – tickets are not personalised.
Why aren’t tickets personalised?
Admissions would be very complex for each event. The absolute majority of customers purchase regular tickets and they would be adversely affected by such arrangements.
How many tickets are being sold on the black market?
There were a total of 500,000 tickets for Elbphilharmonie concerts in the six-month opening season. An extremely low number of these tickets were on offer by illicit traders.
Are there other ways to get hold of remaining tickets even if a concert is officially sold out?
Remaining tickets are occasionally available at the box office 90 minutes before start of the event.