Hours after eBay users began posting auctions for Live 8 tickets, concert organizer Bob Geldof slammed the site for offering the free tickets to the awareness-raising concerts for sale.
Calling the site an “electronic pimp” on Tuesday, Geldof urged supporters to swamp eBay with bogus offers to disrupt their business in protest, according to a Reuters report.
Two days after tickets to the free London show were distributed to fans via a text-message lottery, they began popping up on eBay for sale for hundreds of dollars. “What I would ask you to do tonight is to get on eBay and mess up the system,” Geldof told Sky News. “Everyone should go on and pretend they have got tickets for Live 8 … otherwise, go on and bid ridiculous amounts of money for the tickets already on the site.”
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Minutes after Geldof’s plea, bids for tickets that had been going for hundreds of dollars surged into the millions. While eBay had rejected Geldof’s pleas to stop the sales earlier in the day, the company later had a change of heart and pulled the sales. “eBay has decided to not allow the resale of Live 8 tickets on the site,” a spokesman told Reuters. “We have listened to eBay’s community of users and the message has been clear — that they do not want the tickets to be sold on the site. Once we are made aware of any Live 8 tickets being resold they will be taken down.”
Unlike the all-star 1985 Live Aid concerts, which raised millions for African famine relief, Geldof has organized the six simultaneous July 2 Live 8 concerts as a means to raise awareness about African debt relief in advance of the two-day G8 summit that will begin on July 6 in Gleneagles, Scotland (see “50 Cent, Jay-Z, Mariah, U2, Coldplay On Board For Massive Live Aid Sequel
And, just days after psychedelic rockers Pink Floyd announced that they would reunite with original member Roger Waters for a Live 8 set (see “Pink Floyd Get Roger Waters For Live 8; Green Day In For Berlin Show” ), the Who confirmed that they will also appear at the London show.
Get involved: Learn about the poverty crisis in Africa, the proposed solutions, and how you can help. Plus find all of our coverage of the international Live 8 concerts and more at our thinkMTV Live 8 hub.