The love for former first lady Michelle Obama extends well passed the United States, so it’s no surprise that tickets for her highly anticipated event at London’s Royal Festival Hall sold out pretty quickly. Unfortunately, some of the tickets for the event got into the hands of third-party sellers, and are being sold online for as much as £70,000, or roughly $91,000, The Guardian reported.
Minutes after the phone lines opened for more than 50,000 “genuine fans” of the former President’s wife, Switzerland-based reseller Viagogo was already offering seats for more than 570 times their face value, which was set by the South Bank Centre at a price of anywhere between £30 and £125. As of this morning, the most expensive ticket found by The Guardian on the Viagogo website was for a box seat listed at the outrageously high price of £72,181.
A spokesperson for the venue said it had requested for the tickets to be removed from the site.
“We are aware that a small number of tickets to this event have appeared on third-party resale sites,” the spokesperson said. “We take secondary ticketing very seriously and aim to discourage this by stipulating that tickets should not be resold for profit or commercial gain.”
It appears that Viagogo, who typically takes a cut of 25 percent of the price, has complied with the South Bank Centre’s request–the page for the event on December 3 now only offers to notify those interested via email when tickets are available.
We have asked Viagogo to remove the tickets available on their site. Tickets bought from unauthorised third parties will be cancelled and invalid for entry. 1/2— Southbank Centre (@southbankcentre) November 8, 2018
The 2,700-capacity venue will host Michelle and acclaimed novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, where they will be discussing the former FLOTUS’s new memoir Becoming. which is expected to be released on November 13.
“Reflecting on her memoir, Michelle Obama invites the audience […] into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her–from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years an an executive, balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address,” the South Bank Centre wrote on it’s website describing the event.
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I’m thrilled to share with all of you the cover for BECOMING. The process of writing this book has been so personally meaningful and illuminating for me. As I prepare to share BECOMING this fall, I hope you’ll also think about your own story, and trust that it will help you become whoever you aspire to be. Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own. #BECOMING
According to The Guardian, buyers were asked to join a “waiting room” at 8 a.m. before being randomly assigned a place in a queue when tickets sales officially began at 10 a.m. By 10:30, the venue tweeted that tickets had sold out.
Tickets for Michelle Obama at Southbank Centre on 3 December have now Sold Out.— Southbank Centre (@southbankcentre) November 8, 2018
The BBC reported that according to Twitter, people began lining up at the venue as early as 4 a.m. to try and score a coveted ticket to see the first lady.
People were queuing at 4am for Michelle Obama’s presale tickets. If you are serious about going you need to be up early!!! Don’t log on at 8am, don’t get to south bank centre at 9am you won’t stand a chance— Abigail Kwakye (@Abigail_Kwakye) November 7, 2018
The venue noted to the BBC that due to “extreme demand for this event, unfortunately there will be people who are disappointed.
Tickets for the U.S. dates of the tour sold quickly as well, and Obama tweeted she was “truly humbled” by the response.
Truly humbled by the response to my upcoming book tour. I can’t wait to share BECOMING with all of you & hope to see you somewhere along the way! pic.twitter.com/uT7im9hnFk— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) September 20, 2018
The event in London is in the middle of Michelle’s 13-date book tour, which will begin on November 13 in the hometown of the Obama’s, where Michelle will be in conversation with Oprah Winfrey.