Hell hath no fury like a Harry Potter fan scorned, and the internet is getting an earful after scalpers cleaned up at a recent sale of tickets for the new Potter sequel play, Cursed Child, and posted their bounty on resale sites at an obscene markup.
The trouble began brewing last week after a new batch of 250,000 tickets was released for 2017 performances of Cursed Child. Eager fans began lining up in the online queue hours in advance, waiting for the magic moment when the sale began. But plenty of scalpers were waiting in the wings, too, scooping up a bunch of seats and then immediately reposting them on sites like eBay and StubHub, where The Hollywood Reporter says they’re appearing at rates that would make a Gringotts goblin blush. The trade reported on Monday that the high price on StubHub tops out at £950, or roughly $1,239, while a pair of tickets on eBay will run fans £540 (approximately $704); but according to fans on Twitter, it appears those numbers have since risen significantly.
Those sums are a far cry from the listed price of tickets, which range from £15 (about $20) to £70 (about $91) per each part of the play. That surprisingly low starting point was an intentional move on the part of the play’s creative team, according to Potter author and Cursed Child collaborator J.K. Rowling, who told The Independent that she “wanted to make the theatre accessible to people from all backgrounds.” But based on all the disappointed — and downright enraged — reactions online, it doesn’t look like things will work out that way.
The Independent also notes that the folks in charge at the Cursed Child box office may have a way to prevent scalpers from taking advantage of more fans in the future, with a spokesman for the production telling the outlet that there are already strict rules in place in case of such an event.
“Tickets purchased through either of our official ticketing platforms must not be sold or advertised for sale on the internet, in newspapers or elsewhere,” the spokesman told The Independent. “Any ticket advertised for sale in this way will be automatically void. Please note that we reserve the right to refuse admission to customers with tickets purchased on re-sale websites.”
Just how the play plans on enforcing those restrictions remains to be seen. In the meantime, those who weren’t lucky enough (or rich enough) to snag a seat this time around can grab a copy of the Cursed Child script — already a bestseller before it even hit shelves — and imagine how things would look onstage for themselves. More tickets for performances beginning in December 2017 are expected to go on sale sometime later this year.