Harry Potter 'Cursed Child' producers crack down on scalpers

LONDON (Reuters) - Tickets for London stage play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” are in such high demand that asking prices are reaching thousands of pounds (dollars), but producers are warning buyers to be beware.

Holders of about 60 tickets bought from touts, or scalpers as they are known in the United States, or through resale websites have been refused entry so far because producers are barring resold tickets. The eighth story in the Harry Potter franchise is sold out through December 2017 at London’s Palace Theatre.

One resale website recently listed a single ticket for 6,200 pounds ($8,000). Producers say they are doing their utmost to combat high prices on the secondary market and that tickets resold online, through newspapers or through resale websites will be void for entry.

“From the outset accessible pricing has been of paramount importance to us. We have already been able to identify and refuse entry to a significant number of people who purchased tickets through resale sites and will continue to track down touts and refuse entry to anyone who has knowingly bought a ticket from a tout through the secondary market,” the play’s producers said in a statement.

“Staff at the Palace Theatre refuse entry for tickets that they are able to identify as re-sold,” they added.

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Harry Potter fans don’t like the sky-high prices, but some can see why some people are willing to pay them.

“I’ve never seen a piece of play like this ever, so I can understand why people would pay that kind of money. I don’t necessarily agree with it but it’s been out of this world, absolutely,” one fan told reporters.

“Wimbledon centre court tickets were cheaper than ‘Harry Potter’,” commented one man, referring to the annual tennis championship in England.

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” is set 19 years after the events of the last book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” and is a marathon affair running over five hours and split into two parts.

In August, a new batch of 250,000 tickets for performances through to December 2017 sold out in a day. However there is an online lottery every Friday in which 40 tickets are released for the following week.

Reporting by Reuters TV in London; Editing by Cynthia Osterman