Sydney Mardi Gras denounce scalping as WorldPride tickets sell out

As Sydney gears up to host WorldPride in 2023, tickets for many major events were snapped up within seconds of general sales opening today.

Hopeful partygoers have raised concerns on social media that tickets may have been bought up by resellers and scalpers, with many events selling out as soon as they were available to the public.

Local community member Arran Morton, who was hoping to head east for the celebrations, told OUTinPerth she was unable to get tickets to the main event by pre-sale or general release.

“I joined the pre-sale mailing list hoping to get tickets for the Parade Sideshow and Mardi Gras Party events. Pre-sale began at 7am WA time on Monday. I was disappointed that my email with pre-sale link didn’t arrive until 7.04am, by which time tickets for the Mardi Gras party were sold out,” Morton said.

“I was hopeful again this morning when general ticket sales opened at 7am WA time. I had my laptop and payment method ready and clicked buy for Mardi Gras Party tickets literally the very second ticket sales started. This time through Ticketek.”

“I was kept it a queue for about 90 seconds and by then, allocations were all exhausted. I couldn’t possibly have acted any faster – which alludes to that there were actually no tickets available to the general public.

“This is absolutely contrary to the spirit of Mardi Gras. Not even large-scaled events like Glastonbury and Coachella sell out within the first 90 seconds. Something is seriously wrong with this system.”

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, who are organisers of the event, have responded to the public and warned against unauthorised reselling of tickets.

“In accordance with NSW Anti-Scalping Laws part of the Fair Trading Act 1987, it is illegal to resell your ticket for more than 10% of the purchase price. We have a zero tolerance for ticket scalping,” the organisation posted to Twitter.

“Should we become aware of any ticketholders reselling their Mardi Gras tickets for more than 10% of the purchase price, the original transaction will be cancelled, and the tickets will become invalid.”

“As an anti-scalping measure, Mardi Gras and Sydney WorldPride will not be issuing tickets to any purchaser until Feb 2023, as such do not buy tickets from unauthorised resellers like Viagogo, Gumtree, Marketplace etc.”

“The only way we are able to guarantee that tickets are valid is if they are purchased through the official ticket retailer for the event.”

“We will be sharing information soon on an official ticket reselling facility. If you see any unauthorised Mardi Gras reselling online, please send a clear screenshot to [email protected]

Sydney WorldPride’s official accounts were also responding to concerns on social media about the accessibility and pricing of tickets.

“Sydney WorldPride is a not-for profit and the ticketing income alone does not cover the cost to stage the festival,” the group posted to Instagram.

“That is why our government and corporate partners are so central to making Sydney WorldPride happen.”

“We have worked very hard to make sure the entry price tickets were as affordable as we could manage, whilst also offering heavy discounts via our MobTix and Affordability programs.”

Leigh Andrew Hill

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