Turnout for preview performances of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are smaller than they should be, thanks to tickets being resold at inflated prices.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is currently in previews in London, and while the show is completely sold out, dozens of rows have been empty, so much so that viewers in the back have been moving to empty seats in the front.
What’s happening here? According to The Sun, people have been buying tickets for preview shows (a relatively modest £30, around $43.00), and reselling them for as much as £2,000, or $2,846.10. With prices that inflated, it’s no wonder that many seats remain empty.
“It’s unfair,” said a source. “Fans are desperate to get tickets, but touts snapped a load up and then made them too expensive to get.”*
On the first two nights there were loads of fans hoping to get some returned tickets at the box office but many were turned away.
A spokeswoman for the show said that it operates under a strict “no reselling” policy. “We reserve the right to refuse admission to customers with tickets bought on resale websites.” They may be putting that policy into practice, if the empty seats are any indication.
The show is doing what it can to combat scalping. Every week, the Cursed Child website releases tickets to 40 of the best seats in the house, which it calls ‘The Friday Forty.’ And even though the prices of resold tickets are skyrocketing, the normal ticket prices are reasonable considering the pedigree involved. Once the show opens officially on July 30, tickets will retail for £40 (around $57.00), £20 to see each of the play’s two parts.
*Incidentally, “tout” is a British term for a scalper.
h/t Daily Mail