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‘Shameless’ Scalpers Profit from Billy Joel Charity Concert
Billy Joel fans hoping to grab tickets for the singer’s charity concert Wednesday night to benefit Long Island Cares — The Harry Chapin Food Bank will have to break the bank to see the Long Island icon in person if they’re perusing secondary ticket markets thanks to brazen ticket re-sellers, many seeking upwards of $1,000 a ticket.
Just as quickly as tickets sold out Tuesday for the good-hearted gig at The Paramount in Huntington, people turned to sites such as StubHub and Craigslist to capitalize on the charity event, which will help raise money for the food bank with a portion of the proceeds going to the charity.
“It is disheartening that people would resell tickets to a charity benefit show for a profit,” Paramount spokesman Adam Ellis said in a statement to the Press.
One Craigslist user had much harsher words for someone who posted an ad on the site asking for $900 to see the LI music legend in concert.
“This is a charity event,” they blasted. “You’re a scumbag.”
Tickets for the Piano Man’s rare LI gig went on sale Tuesday at noon and sold out within minutes through Ticketmaster. Prices ranged from $79.50 to $150.
The Paramount made the announcement two hours before tickets went on sale.
Some disappointed fans of The Piano Man vented that they weren’t given enough heads up, forcing them to look elsewhere.
But when they clicked onto StubHub’s website they were greeted with exorbitant prices ranging from $800 to $1,200.
Some interested ticket seekers added to the hysteria by posting their own ads on Craigslist. One user apparently ready to give up on their 0-6 New York Giants said they would trade four tickets to an upcoming game for two Joel tickets.
Paule Pachter, executive director of Long Island Cares — The Harry Chapin Food Bank, said that although it’s “disappointing” people would try to profit off the event, he didn’t look at it as people taking money from the charity.
“The fact that some people decide to purchase [tickets] and mark them up and sell them,” is nothing new in the concert business, he added.
Joel’s last performance was at a Hurricane Sandy benefit concert at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 12, 2012, which also attracted a slew of people attempting to re-sell tickets, infuriating victims of the superstorm.